Decision time… How do you know what to do?


I read a message this morning and triggered thoughts of a year gone by. When you go through a tough year, how do you decide if the challenges, the struggles, the trials, the tests, the pain, and the suffering are signs to move on or a time to build your faith strength? In my case, I kept leaning on God and He helped build my faith, He strengthened my family bond and unit, He kept telling me to stay in the midst of it all and never opened a door to step out or step away. It was also necessary as I look back to help me reset and prepare for the new role God had prepared in advance with an incredible new team to lead. The message I read brought this flashback moment because I was curious if that person’s decision was triggered by similar challenges and struggles. I was curious if that person’s decision to get out was directed by God or fear for what reviews and such might look like. I was curious if that person’s decision to get out was triggered by someone else offering them a new role and change. I may never know or it may be something discussed later in life but either way, it made me go back to decision time and how for me I turned to God to get the wisdom and discernment I needed to be able to both decide and press through it. I had picked up my lessons from years gone by and led with forgiveness! I then was able to seek wisdom and discernment from God to know what to do, where to go, how to proceed. And this past year for me with my new team has been incredible with both incredible managers as well as with incredible team members. God is good and He can use all things, even the bad or painful ones, and turn them around and use them for good! God’s got a perspective we can’t have or see from and so we need to trust Him, we need to lean on God rather than our own understanding, we need to go it His way that is so much higher and better than our ways.

It’s New Year’s Eve-eve today and many people will be thinking about making a decision heading into the New Year. What decision are you considering? What is the motivation for the decision? What is the purpose of the decision? Is it self-driven or God-driven? Is it something that you will commit to or is it like many of the New Year resolutions that rarely make it through January? Important things to consider since you still have a couple of days to get it figured out.


THE ONE YEAR DAILY INSIGHTS 
WITH ZIG ZIGLAR AND DR. IKE REIGHARD
FOR DECEMBER 30TH


BIG CHOICES


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘“Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known. ‘

Deuteronomy 11:26-28

Let’s look to get more context and details for today’s Bible verses by expanding the verses around it and using the Amplified version for extra details.

‘“Therefore you shall love the Lord your God, and always keep His charge, His statutes, His precepts, and His commandments [it is your obligation to Him]. Know this day that I am not speaking to your children who have not known [by personal experience] and who have not seen [firsthand] the instruction and discipline of the Lord your God—His greatness, His mighty hand and His outstretched arm; and His signs and His works which He did in the midst of Egypt to Pharaoh the king of Egypt and to all his land; and what He did to the army of Egypt, to its horses and its chariots, when He made the water of the Red Sea engulf them as they pursued you, and how the Lord completely destroyed them; and what He did to you in the wilderness until you came to this place; and what He did to Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, the son of Reuben, when the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them, their households, their tents, and every living thing that followed them, in the midst of all Israel. For your eyes have seen all the great work of the Lord which He did. “Therefore, you shall keep all the commandments which I am commanding you today, so that you may be strong and go in and take possession of the land which you are crossing over [the Jordan] to possess; so that you may live long on the land which the Lord swore (solemnly promised) to your fathers to give to them and to their descendants, a land [of great abundance,] flowing with milk and honey. For the land which you are entering to possess is not like the land of Egypt from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and watered it with your foot like a garden of vegetables. But the land into which you are about to cross to possess, a land of hills and valleys, drinks water from the rain of heaven, a land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. “It shall come about, if you listen obediently and pay attention to My commandments which I command you today—to love the Lord your God and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul [your choices, your thoughts, your whole being]— that He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early [fall] rain and the late [spring] rain, so that you may gather in your grain and your new wine and your [olive] oil. And He will give grass in your fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied. Beware that your hearts are not deceived, and that you do not turn away [from the Lord ] and serve other gods and worship them, or [else] the Lord’s anger will be kindled and burn against you, and He will shut up the heavens so that there will be no rain and the land will not yield its fruit; and you will perish quickly from the good land which the Lord is giving you. “Therefore, you shall impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul, and tie them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as bands (frontals, frontlets) on your forehead. You shall teach them [diligently] to your children [impressing God’s precepts on their minds and penetrating their hearts with His truths], speaking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth. For if you are careful to keep all this commandment which I am commanding you to do, to love the Lord your God, to walk [that is, to live each and every day] in all His ways and to hold tightly to Him— then the Lord will drive out all these nations from before you, and you shall dispossess nations greater and mightier than you. Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall become yours; your territory shall be from the wilderness to Lebanon, and from the river, the river Euphrates, as far as the western sea (the Mediterranean). No man will be able to stand before you; the Lord your God will lay the fear and the dread of you on all the land on which you set foot, just as He has spoken to you. “Behold, today I am setting before you a blessing and a curse— the blessing, if you listen to and obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I am commanding you today; and the curse, if you do not listen to and obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today, by following (acknowledging, worshiping) other gods which you have not known. “It shall come about, when the Lord your God brings you into the land which you are entering to possess, that you shall place the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal. Are they not across the Jordan, west of the road, toward the sunset, in the land of the Canaanites who live in the Arabah, opposite Gilgal, beside the oaks of Moreh? For you are about to cross the Jordan to go in to possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you, and you shall possess it and live in it, and you shall be careful to do all the statutes and the judgments which I am setting before you today.’

Deuteronomy 11:1-32

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever noticed how God can make the right choice more appealing that the wrong choice?
  • As you consider the above scripture about the benefits of following God’s law do you see how He desires us to make the right choice?
  • Today’s devotional put it the options this way: “You have a choice. You can have a thousand dollars in cash or a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. Which one do you want?”
  • Throughout history we have seen many times where people have chosent the stick in the eye.
  • Ever wondered when the options are so clear how anyone could make the wrong choice?
  • The sad part is that they do and so do we.
  • God has made Himself clear about the right and wrong decisions and yet people have struggled to receive it.
  • Consider Eve in the garden and how Satan came to tempt her and confuse her understanding of what God had said.
    • ‘Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ” “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. ‘
      Genesis 3:1-7
  • Satan is trying to get us off track and bring confusion and try to cause us to doubt or question God’s authority and goodness.
  • What if Eve had of responded with “Yes, but He gave us all of the rest of these, and that’s plenty!”?
  • What choices are you facing today?
  • What does God say about your options?
  • Will you trust God?
  • Will you trust His plans?
  • Will you trust His authority?
  • Will you trust His goodness?
  • Or are you allowing Satan to create a wedge between you and God because questioning or doubt?
  • Will you allow doubt and questioning to cause you to walk away from God like what happened to Eve?
  • Are you being tempted today?
  • Are you being tempted to doubt God?
  • Are you being tempted to doubt God’s goodness?
  • Are you being tempted to doubt God’s authority?
  • Are you being tempted to doubt the importance of having God as the centerpiece of your life?
  • Do you think you can do it and nobody will ever know or find out? God knows.
  • Do you think you could have sex with that person because it sounds really good and you think you can do it without anyone finding out? God knows.
  • Do you think you can blow of that responsibility you have since you don’t think anyone will get hurt by it? God knows.
  • Do you think making up stories or lying about something or someone might help you get ahead quicker and coming up with stories why it won’t hurt them or how they weren’t going to be impacted or try for that opportunity anyway? God knows.
  • Do you think overeating won’t be a problem and won’t hurt? God knows.
  • Do you realize how such talk, thoughts, and conversations cause or create doubt over God’s goodness, God’s authority, and hence puts into question the benefits of obedience.
  • What will be your big choice today?
  • It may seem small in the moment but the question is will your decision move you closer to God or further away with each and every one?
  • Will you choose wisely and receive the wonderful blessings?
  • Will you choose unwisely and receive the painful curse?
  • The choice is yours! We all have freewill.
  • So will you choose blessings or curses?
  • The decision is yours! Why not be prepared in advance so that when you are faced with the situation you know the right answer and are ready to make it.

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What are the choices you face each day that question or affirm God’s authority in your life?
  • Which path are you on? How much progress are you making?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

There is no failure in God’s will, and no success outside of God’s will.

George W Truett

So are you facing a big choice today? Are you considering making a decision heading out of the current and into the coming year? Are you considering how it aligns with God’s will for your life? Are you ready to invite God into the situation in order to receive His wisdom and guidance? Are you ready to start making your decisions in a way that will bring God glory? Are you ready to grab hold of 1 Corinthians 10:31 that says: ‘So then, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of [our great] God. ‘? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


You realize it isn’t all about stuff, right?


Ever noticed how there are many in this world who think that the goal is to see who gets the most? Ever noticed how there are many in this world that are focused on consuming and receiving stuff? Ever noticed how there are many in this world who because they compare themselves to others keep trying to acquire more?

Ever considered why in marketing people are call consumers? Example being the Consumers Report. Do you realize that the origin of when people started getting called consumers was labeled to people who squandered or wasted things? That’s right it wasn’t a good thing. Somehow over time (~300 years) the meaning got diluted to mean people who use goods and services. Even when the meaning was diluted the reality is that money and materialism that fuel consumerism can’t buy you happiness. This has been a problem since near the beginning which is why in God’s Commandments we are told not to covet. So we should not covet or “desire (someone or something) obsessively, wrongfully, and/or without due regard for the rights/feelings of others.” So we should not covet for it will waste our lives fruitlessly obsessing over objects of our desire. To covet is more than a feeling, it becomes an attempt to attain something from their neighbor (remember neighbor in Jesus’s message – think of your neighbor as everyone you come in contact with) – and so covet is taking action too. Coveting leads to planning, scheming, and then acting. So let’s not be so materialistic that we try to keep up with the Jones’s.

Let’s be more focused on being so rich in love that we can love God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength. Let’s be more focused on being so rich in love that we don’t run out there but are able to overflow into the lives of those around us as we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. Let’s be focused on being rich in LOVE! As we learn and read about what will last in 1 Corinthians 13, we find that everything else will pass away except faith, hope, and love!

So let’s not be wasting our time and energy on things that won’t glorify God! Let’s be using our time and energy to bring God praise, honor, and glory! Let’s be using our resources to bless God and God’s purpose in our lives! Let’s be using our resources to accomplish the cause God has put inside each of us! We are the body and just like the human body we each have a purpose and a responsibility in order to keep the body healthy and strong! We each have a purpose God created us to accomplish! Interestingly enough the body analogy comes in the earlier chapter of 1 Corinthians 12 where it reads:

‘For just as the body is one and yet has many parts, and all the parts, though many, form [only] one body, so it is with Christ. For by one [Holy] Spirit we were all baptized into one body, [spiritually transformed—united together] whether Jews or Greeks (Gentiles), slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one [Holy] Spirit [since the same Holy Spirit fills each life]. For the [human] body does not consist of one part, but of many [limbs and organs]. If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” is it not on the contrary still a part of the body? If the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” is it not on the contrary still a part of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole [body] were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But now [as things really are], God has placed and arranged the parts in the body, each one of them, just as He willed and saw fit [with the best balance of function]. If they all were a single organ, where would [the rest of] the body be? But now [as things really are] there are many parts [different limbs and organs], but a single body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” But quite the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are [absolutely] necessary; and as for those parts of the body which we consider less honorable, these we treat with greater honor; and our less presentable parts are treated with greater modesty, while our more presentable parts do not require it. But God has combined the [whole] body, giving greater honor to that part which lacks it, so that there would be no division or discord in the body [that is, lack of adaptation of the parts to each other], but that the parts may have the same concern for one another. And if one member suffers, all the parts share the suffering; if one member is honored, all rejoice with it. Now you [collectively] are Christ’s body, and individually [you are] members of it [each with his own special purpose and function]. So God has appointed and placed in the church [for His own use]: first apostles [chosen by Christ], second prophets [those who foretell the future, those who speak a new message from God to the people], third teachers, then those who work miracles, then those with the gifts of healings, the helpers, the administrators, and speakers in various kinds of [unknown] tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire and strive for the greater gifts [if acquiring them is going to be your goal]. A nd yet I will show you a still more excellent way [one of the choicest graces and the highest of them all: unselfish love].’

1 Corinthians 12:12-31

So today let’s focus on how we can love better, love more, and even love the unlovable as a way of worshipping God. God so loved us that He sent Jesus! We know what love is because God first loved us!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard
for August 29th


Prosperity Theology — Really!


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. ‘

III John 1:2

The Amplified gives us a bit more context around this statement when it says:

‘Beloved, I pray that in every way you may succeed and prosper and be in good health [physically], just as [I know] your soul prospers [spiritually]. ‘

3 John 1:2

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever noticed how much stuff there is?
  • Ever noticed how much people try to get more stuff?
  • Ever noticed how some people can never get enough stuff?
  • Ever noticed the wealth that exists?
  • Ever noticed the what about me, I don’t want to be left out, … attitudes?
  • What is your focus? Is it more stuff? (possessions) Is it doing more things? (pleasures)
  • Are you leading that way and causing others to fall into that same trap or pit?
  • What does it mean to you when the Bible speaks to God wanting us to prosper?
  • Let’s consider Luke 12 and what it has to say:
    • ‘Then He told them a parable, saying, “There was a rich man whose land was very fertile and productive. And he began thinking to himself, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place [large enough in which] to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my storehouses and build larger ones, and I will store all my grain and my goods there. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many good things stored up, [enough] for many years; rest and relax, eat, drink and be merry (celebrate continually).” ’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own all the things you have prepared?’ So it is for the one who continues to store up and hoard possessions for himself, and is not rich [in his relationship] toward God.” Jesus said to His disciples, “For this reason I tell you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; or about your body, as to what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the crop]; they have no storehouse or barn, and yet God feeds them. How much more valuable are you than the birds! And which of you by worrying can add one hour to his life’s span? So if you are not even able to do a very little thing [such as that], why are you worried about the rest? Consider the lilies and wildflowers, how they grow [in the open field]. They neither labor nor spin [wool to make clothing]; yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory and splendor dressed himself like one of these. But if this is how God clothes the grass which is in the field today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You of little faith! So as for you, do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink; nor have an anxious and unsettled mind. For all the [pagan] nations of the world greedily seek these things; and your [heavenly] Father [already] knows that you need them. But [strive for and actively] seek His kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid and anxious, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. “Sell your possessions (show compassion) and give [donations] to the poor. Provide money belts for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing and inexhaustible treasure in the heavens, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ‘
      Luke 12:16-34
  • Are you ready to love God so much that everything else doesn’t measure up or even compare to it?
  • Are you ready to give up or consecrate or crucify yourself for the glory of God? Remember how we are to crucify ourselves daily? Remember how we are to pick up our cross daily? Remember how when the Israelites were about to cross over to the promised land that they had to prepare themselves and consecrate themselves?
  • So are you ready to live your life out of an abundance of love for God so that you can live a life that demonstrates your affection and obedience to God?
  • Let’s not be focused on selfish desires.
  • Let’s focus on God’s promises! God’s promises are true!
  • Ever heard you can’t out give God? It’s true! But what you receive back in return is different than more stuff, it is true blessings!
  • Ever tested God in your ability to give? It is the one thing we learn and read in Malachi where God says “test in me”. Could you imagine being accused by God of robbing Him?
    • ‘“Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings [you have withheld]. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, this whole nation! Bring all the tithes (the tenth) into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you [so great] a blessing until there is no more room to receive it. Then I will rebuke the devourer (insects, plague) for your sake and he will not destroy the fruits of the ground, nor will your vine in the field drop its grapes [before harvest],” says the Lord of hosts. “All nations shall call you happy and blessed, for you shall be a land of delight,” says the Lord of hosts. “Your words have been harsh against Me,” says the Lord . “But you say, ‘What have we spoken against You?’ You have said, ‘It is useless to serve God. What profit is it if we keep His ordinances, and walk around like mourners before the Lord of hosts? So now we call the arrogant happy and blessed. Evildoers are exalted and prosper; and when they test God, they escape [unpunished].’ ” ‘
      Malachi 3:8-15
  • Let’s not lose hope in wanting the best for ourselves and our families, but let’s make sure to check our hearts and minds to understand the intentions and reasons.
  • Let’s pray to stay healthy in order to be able to worship, serve, and praise God!
  • Let’s pray to be prosperous in order to be able to worship, serve, and praise God!
  • Let’s make sure that we are praying God’s will and God’s desire!
  • Remember how it says in Psalm 37 that God will give you the desires of your heart? Do you remember the if part of that if/then statement? Let’s make sure to take hold of that when we pray and why we are praying it.
    • ‘Delight yourself in the Lord , And He will give you the desires and petitions of your heart. ‘
      Psalms 37:4
  • Are you praying for health and prosperity in order to delight yourself in the Lord? Are you praying for your hope in the Lord? Are you seeking God’s will and purpose in order that He will bless you in it?
  • It may not always be the easy road but following Jesus is the road to eternity in heaven.
  • Let’s hold tightly to the promises of God as he uses every circumstance that is in and comes into our lives will help build up our love, our lives, and our soul.
  • Let’s hold loosely to the material things in our lives that one day won’t last so that we can press in and press forward for the glory of God!
  • Let’s live a life grateful to God!
  • Let’s live a life that fulfills God’s plans and purposes for our lives!
  • Let’s thank God as He fulfills His plans and purposes in our lives! Every step of the way! With every victory! With every challenge!
  • Let’s accept His generosity!
  • Let’s focus on what is important to God!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What happens in our hearts when we demand worldly prosperity?
  • What are some adjustments you need to make to refocus your heart on true prosperity?

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“As your positive confessions come forth, you will discover that the more blessings you thank God for, the more blessings you will have to thank God for.”

Zig Ziglar (Confessions of a Happy Christian)

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you wanting and needing to have your heart filled up and cleaned up? Could today be your day to invite Jesus in to provide you with a fountain that never runs dry of love that will fill your heart to overflowing? Are you ready to make that choice, that decision, that move? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


How are you choosing to live?


Are you trying to find your own way? Are you trying to make your own way? Are you trying to go your own way? Are you trying get your own way?

Are you submitting your life over to God and allowing Him to lead you and guide you, directing your path? Are you walking through life with God or are you trying to escape Him? Are you walking through life with God or have you turned your back and walked away? Are you pursuing God or avoiding Him?

When things get tough, where will you turn? When things get rough, how will you respond? When things aren’t clear, who can you turn to?

If we remember what Jesus taught us about this life, we will face troubles, so if we haven’t just gone through troubles and we aren’t going through troubles then there is probably going to be some troubles ahead, but Jesus didn’t just stop with the warning, He also provided us with hope in the troubles so that we can take heart because He has overcome the world!

How would you respond if you received a message that doom was coming? How would you respond if you received a message that trouble was coming? How would you respond if you received a message that disaster was coming? How would you respond if you received a message that the cycle time has come up? Ever noticed through history the cycle of people turning to God and then over time as they feel too comfortable they stray or walk away?

So we need to stick with God! We need to have Jesus in our lives! We need to make time and take time to hear from the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us as we go through this thing called life.

How are you choosing to live? What would it take for you to change or adjust or realign your life to God’s will?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for June 26th


In God’s Right Hand


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’’

Isaiah 41:10

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Ever face a confusing or perplexing situation or circumstance?
  • Ever face a puzzling or inexplicable situation or circumstance?
  • Ever face a mysterious or surprising situation or circumstance?
  • Ever face an amazing or astonishing situation or circumstance?
  • How did you respond?
  • Where did you turn?
  • Ever gotten to the end of your rope and said “I just don’t know what to do?”?
  • So what did you do? Did you turn to God? Did you lean in on Him rather than your own understanding? Did you seek God’s Wisdom through His Word? Did you keep doing what you knew to do until you figured it out?
    • I know for me in 2020 I had to do that a lot. I had to lean on God as I didn’t understand. I had to seek Him to help me keep going and doing what He wanted me to do. I forgave. I pressed forward. I trusted God. Hindsight definitely was 2020. There were so many things that were shaking my world. There was isolation from people and yet more time with my wife and kids. There was more time to spend in couple devotionals with my wife. COVID wasn’t as big of a deal in terms of what it caused because it caused my family to draw closer to God and closer to each other. But it was the non-COVID stuff that kept me unsure of what to do. But God was faithful and He showed up. He helped me to be able to look back and see what happened and why it was required. Without God I am not sure what I would have or could have done. With God all things are possible!
  • So what will you do? Will you turn to people for help or go straight to the top? Will you go to God?
    • To close out 2020 I had a choice between 2 roles and I liked both managers and felt I would like and could do both roles. So I gave it up into God’s hands and started at the top with the President of our division and after his response to our Senior VP and after his response the person who was my boss. God opened the door so wide, it was clear which role I was to take. Once I let the hiring manager know God took over and within 2 business days things were in place, and I was in my new role. God is good. God can move mountains that we couldn’t if we tried. My faith in God got me through 2020 and it allowed 2020 to close on a positive note.
  • So go to God first! He knows the beginning and the end! Why go through the contact lists when you can go straight to God?
  • Through Jesus we can go to God first! We don’t need to go through a phone tree of options, go straight to God. We don’t need to send or wait for an email to come in, go straight to God. We don’t need to wait for a repair man or a technician to come and fix our problems, God is personal and shows up in person to get it done!
  • Remember the contract God made with Moses?
    • I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. — Exodus 6:7
    • “’So you will be my people, and I will be your God.’” — Jeremiah 30:22
    • I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. — Leviticus 26:12
    • but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you. — Jeremiah 7:23
  • This applies to us too!
  • Let’s take hold of God’s promises!
  • Let’s take hold of today’s verse!
  • Let’s choose to be a part of His family by accepting Jesus!
  • Let’s be adopted into the family of God!
  • Let’s be transformed by the decision to invite Jesus into our lives!
  • And then let’s live out the promise that God Himself is committed to strengthen, lead, support, and uphold us!
  • Let’s allow God to stick close to us and live out our lives in intimate relationship with Him!
  • Let’s decide to live securely in His right hand!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Since God is invisible, what does this promise really mean?
  • What are some recent or current situations in your life in which you need God’s personal help? Ask Him for it now.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Franklin Roosevelt

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you wanting or needing direction? Are you wanting or needing courage and boldness? Are you wanting or needing hope and strength? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Being eternal means after this life there is another.


We are all flesh and spirit. It is our decisions in the flesh that will make the difference to where we end up after this life on earth. Given the choice of eternity with God or apart from God what would you choose? Given the choice of eternity in Heaven or in Hell what would you choose?

So how will you choose to live this life on earth? Will you choose to make a decision that will bring you closer to God or further from God? Will you choose to make a decision that will bar you from Heaven or welcome you in with open arms?

We have all been created with freewill and as such we all get to choose for ourselves.

Would you consider choosing to invite Jesus into your heart today in order to open the door to eternity with God in Heaven? Some call it being saved and some may wonder what we are being saved from, to me it is saved from finding out in eternity that you are apart from God and having to spend eternity in Hell. Does it mean life will be easier? No, Jesus tells us that in this world we will have troubles and continues with a message of hope that we can take heart because He has overcome the world! Does it mean life will be trouble or trial free? No, we read in James how thanks to Jesus we can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because we know that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

The Amplified translation of James 1:2-4 puts it this way:

‘Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing. ‘

James 1:2-4

So God is the God of the living, so how will you choose to live your life on earth and into eternity? The final destination is up to you, it’s a choice, a choice that you get to freely make. Choose wisely!


The One Year Daily Insights
with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for June 9th


God of the Living


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’ ? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” ‘

Matthew 22:31-32

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Are you fascinated with death?
  • Are you curious about life after death?
  • Are you curious about what happens after your last breath on this earth?
  • Do you know if it is the end or not?
  • Are you wondering if there is more after this life?
  • Through Jesus, we are promised resurrection and life!
  • Jesus has told us that believers who have died on this earth are alive right now!
  • Jesus showed the power of the resurrection when He rose from the dead after paying the ultimate sacrifice on the cross so that we could be forgiven and the power of sin and death could be defeated!
  • Death isn’t the end! Life conquers the grave through Jesus Christ!
  • God reigns over the living! He reigns over the living on earth and in the life to come!
  • Will you take hold of the promise?
  • Will you walk in confidence because of the promise of Jesus?
  • Will you live out this life with hope thanks to your faith in Jesus?
  • Will you be ready when that day comes and your spirit leaves your body here on earth?
  • Will your spirit enter into the presence of God? the angels? the believers who have gone before us?
  • Are you ready to be more alive than ever?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • Why is it important to you that God is the God of the living and not of the dead?
    • This world isn’t the finish or the end when we have Jesus as our Lord and Savior!
    • There is a better destination yet to come!
  • What do you look forward to in the next life?
    • No more sorrow and no more pain
    • Getting to live the rest of eternity filled with joy and getting to worship God face to face.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“The resurrection is not merely important to the historic Christian faith; without it, there would be no Christianity. It is the singular doctrine that elevates Christianity above all other world religions.”

Adrian Rogers

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? Are you ready to decide? Are you ready to move forward with a decision on your final destination? Are you wanting to consider or contemplate the final destinations more? Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


News… what’s in it for you?


What comes to mind when you think of the NEWS? Is it timing? The morning NEWS, the mid-day NEWS, the end of day NEWS, or the late night NEWS? Is it categorized? Top NEWS, Political NEWS, Business NEWS, Money NEWS, Medical NEWS, Local NEWS, Regional NEWS, National NEWS, Global NEWS, Sports NEWS, Scientific NEWS, Technological NEWS, Entertainment NEWS, Business NEWS, or do you have specific topics you want or like to follow? Is it the media format? Newspaper? Internet? Broadcast? Local? Regional? Cable? What draws you to it? What keeps you coming back for more? What types of reports get your attention more than others? Is it a good use of your time? What’s in it for you?

How much of your time gets used up on NEWS? Is it really NEWS or is it gossip? Is it really NEWS or it is media trying to get eyeballs? Is it really NEWS or is it a way to make money? Do you check the NEWS on your computer? Do you listen to the NEWS on your commute? Do you watch the NEWS on TV? Do you get the NEWS through the Newspaper? Is it worth the time and energy? What’s in it for you?

When you consider the NEWS you consume, when it is done, do you feel better or worse? Do you feel more at peace or more stressed? Do you feel happier or sadder? Do you want more or do you want to turn it off and walk away? What do you do though? What’s in it for you?

I was talking with someone recently about my limited consumption of NEWS and the way(s) I consume it and how I don’t consume many of the distribution methods because they seem to be too negative or bad NEWS. I have a focused set of things I am interested in and so I have a single source to get a wide variety of content in order to hear what is taking place in the world and then I let it go and give my day up to God! It was interesting how in the conversation I shared how I don’t bother watching or listening to too much NEWS because most of it is bad NEWS and how I had heard it is part of the media companies plans because bad NEWS keeps people glued to the station. They shared a few apps that I was able to check out on my phone that only report good NEWS. Imagine a world focused on doing good, reporting on good, and reinforcing good NEWS. Imagine if people thought they would get more visibility and attention for doing good things. Remember how kids want attention and if the only time they get attention is when they do something bad, guess what they are going to do? Imagine a world that reinforced that doing good is how people could get more attention, imagine if it was that way in our families and homes too. What do you want more of? Do you want real NEWS or fake NEWS? Do you want GOOD NEWS or bad NEWS? What’s in it for you?

How do you source your information? Do you use search engines? Do you use social media? Do you use subscription services? Do you use local TV? Do you use cable or satellite TV? Do you use local or national radio programs? How do you choose? How do you trust? How do you discern? How do you believe? What’s in it for you?

Aren’t you ready for more GOOD NEWS? Aren’t you wanting to understand the truth? Don’t you want to the world to be a better place? Don’t you want a world that is united versus divided? What do you think it would take? What do you think your part in it is? What’s in it for you?


The One Year Daily Insights
with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for May 30th


Sharing the Good News


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY:

‘And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”’

Romans 10:15

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • How do you communicate/connect with others?
  • Does it matter their proximity or do you use the same method no matter how close or how far they are from you?
  • Do you use email, texting, messengers, and other such tech to communicate and connect with people in the next room and around the world?
  • What would it take for you to go old school and hand deliver the message?
  • I know with COVID that makes things a bit more challenging but it shouldn’t be about social distancing but rather physical distancing which means you can still deliver the message in person.
  • In the old days people may have had to brave the elements to deliver a message and yet today with all the comforts and technology messages either get sent or missed, delivered or deleted because they all end up in that thing called an inbox.
  • In the old days they needed to make the effort through the weather and the threats to be able to deliver the good and the bad news to the intended recipient.
  • In the old days people had to deliver their messages with sandals and feet compared to today’s world of computers and cell phones.
  • Ever use quotes to communicate your message?
  • Paul in his letter to the Romans quotes from Isaiah 52:7
    • ‘How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”’ — Isaiah 52:7
  • Do you realize that you can receive the same type of freedom today as the Jewish exiles did when they received the message from Isaiah in Babylon that they were now freed from captivity, after 70 years of captivity, torture, and humiliation, they were free?
  • We can be like Isaiah bringing the Good News to the people of the world around us by sharing the truth that by accepting and receiving Jesus Christ’s forgiveness they can be set free too!
  • Would you accept the calling to bring the Good News to others that they too may be set free?
  • Would you accept the calling to bring the Good News to others that they can be set free from the powers of sin and death?
  • Are you ready to deliver the best news they will ever hear?
  • Do you remember the best news you ever heard and how you responded?
  • Do you remember the excitement and the feelings that came with it?
  • Will you accept the role of becoming a messenger for Jesus to deliver the Good News to the world around you?
  • If you didn’t know about this Good News, will today be your day to accept and receive it? (I have a prayer we can pray together below)
  • Will you accept the role of delivering the Good News of Jesus to people who desperately need to hear it?
  • Do you realize that by you making the effort, taking the effort to go and deliver the message that your steps point to the old saying people used to say when they heard good news, “Your feet are beautiful!”
  • There is a world filled with guilt and condemnation out there that is in need of hearing the truth that will set them free, the Good News!
  • When we will go and deliver the Good News, our feet are beautiful too!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
  • What’s the best news you’ve ever received?
    • That it isn’t about rituals and routines but rather it is about having a relationship with Jesus!
    • That my wife would marry me
    • That my wife was pregnant
  • What are some things you need to do to make your feet beautiful to lost and oppressed people?
    • Be willing to make time to speak truth and life in love to the people God brings to mind and into my life.
    • Be willing to go and share the reality of Jesus with the world around me
    • Be willing to share beyond my comfort zone the reality and love of Jesus with all those God brings into my network and into my mind.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“This generation of Christians is responsible for this generation of souls on earth.”

― Keith Green

Today’s reading from Tanakh:

  • Isaiah 58(sefaria.org)
    1. Cry with full throat, without restraint; Raise your voice like a ram’s horn! Declare to My people their transgression, To the House of Jacob their sin.
    2. To be sure, they seek Me daily, Eager to learn My ways. Like a nation that does what is right, That has not abandoned the laws of its God, They ask Me for the right way, They are eager for the nearness of God:
    3. “Why, when we fasted, did You not see? When we starved our bodies, did You pay no heed?” Because on your fast day You see to your business And oppress all your laborers!
    4. Because you fast in strife and contention, And you strike with a wicked fist! Your fasting today is not such As to make your voice heard on high.
    5. Is such the fast I desire, A day for men to starve their bodies? Is it bowing the head like a bulrush And lying in sackcloth and ashes? Do you call that a fast, A day when the LORD is favorable?
    6. No, this is the fast I desire: To unlock fetters of wickedness, And untie the cords of the yoke To let the oppressed go free; To break off every yoke.
    7. It is to share your bread with the hungry, And to take the wretched poor into your home; When you see the naked, to clothe him, And not to ignore your own kin.
    8. Then shall your light burst through like the dawn And your healing spring up quickly; Your Vindicator shall march before you, The Presence of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
    9. Then, when you call, the LORD will answer; When you cry, He will say: Here I am. If you banish the yoke from your midst, The menacing hand, and evil speech,
    10. And you offer your compassion to the hungry And satisfy the famished creature— Then shall your light shine in darkness, And your gloom shall be like noonday.
    11. The LORD will guide you always; He will slake your thirst in parched places And give strength to your bones. You shall be like a watered garden, Like a spring whose waters do not fail.
    12. Men from your midst shall rebuild ancient ruins, You shall restore foundations laid long ago. And you shall be called “Repairer of fallen walls, Restorer of lanes for habitation.”
    13. If you refrain from trampling the sabbath, From pursuing your affairs on My holy day; If you call the sabbath “delight,” The LORD’s holy day “honored”; And if you honor it and go not your ways Nor look to your affairs, nor strike bargains—
    14. Then you can seek the favor of the LORD. I will set you astride the heights of the earth, And let you enjoy the heritage of your father Jacob— For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
  • Isaiah 59 (sefaria.org)
  • Isaiah 60 (sefaria.org)

So do you want the NEWS? Do you want the GOOD NEWS? Do you want the truth rather than gossip and innuendos? Are you ready to be set free? Are you ready to allow the joy of the Lord to be your strength? Is today the first day of the rest of your life? Are you ready to accept and receive eternal life? Could today be your day?

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Do you see the signs of the times? Don’t miss your opportunity!


As I start this day and consider what day it is as well as some of the messages that I have heard through the books I have been reading today’s topic came to mind. Be it Death Row Chaplain by Rev. Earl Smith and the people on death row and knowing their end was near and getting the opportunity to decide where they will spend eternity set before them. The interesting thing in that book was the people who were the family of the victims of the crimes who similarly knowing the end was near and getting the opportunity to find closure through forgiveness since watching the death doesn’t bring closure and definitely doesn’t bring healing to the person or the family. So seeing the signs of the times how would you respond? Would you miss your opportunity?

As I was reading today and started to consider how I can use my time better, Tommy Barnett’s book The Power of a Half Hour: Take Back Your Life Thirty Minutes At A Time, I started considering the signs of the times and the things I need to change to be a better steward of my time. I started considering my calling and special talent(s) and vision and purpose from God and how if I don’t do that special thing then it won’t get done God’s way – as He had intended. So I need to take hold of the signs of the times! I need to take this opportunity to complete the good works God prepared in advance for me to accomplish!

And with yesterday having been Good Friday, the idea of Jesus on the cross between two criminals and similar to the people on death row, they both knew it was their end, they could see the signs of the times, and yet they had different responses towards Jesus. Let’s grab a snapshot of what took place:

‘Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”’

Luke 23:39-43

‘With Him they also crucified two robbers, one on His right and the other on His left. So the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with the transgressors.” And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross!” Likewise the chief priests also, mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Even those who were crucified with Him reviled Him.’

Mark 15:27-32

‘Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left. And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ” Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing.’

Matthew 27:38-44

We see in Luke how the two criminals, robbers, thieves responded to Jesus. One joined in with the people in the crowd but the other realized the signs of the time and humbled himself to Jesus. Like the people on death row, these men had to make a decision of where they were going to end up when their execution was done.

We may not be sentenced to the death penalty but the reality is that we will all die one day. And on that day when our physical body dies, where will our spiritual being end up? We need to realize the signs of the times! We need to take the opportunity set before us to accept the grace of God through Jesus so that we can be forgiven and get to spend eternity with God rather than the alternative of spending eternity in Hell, apart from God! We each have to make that decision for ourselves, nobody else can make it for us! Being Easter weekend, can you think of a better time if you haven’t already made the decision to make the decision? Will you make your decision before it is too late and you find yourself at the Judgement Seat of God and get sent to spend eternity apart from Him?

Don’t miss your opportunity!


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for April 3rd


Today in Paradise


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Luke 23:43

‘And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Three people put on crosses – 2 thieves and Jesus
  • One joined in with all the screaming at Jesus and said ‘Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”’ — Luke 23:39
  • One must have heard and knew about Jesus because he gave a different response: ‘But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” ‘ — Luke 23:40-41
  • The second one must have known about and believed in Jesus because he added to his comment to his partner in crime when he turned to Jesus: ‘Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”’ — Luke 23:42
  • Remember how Jesus was abandoned when things were going down?
  • Remember how people denied knowing Jesus when things were going down?
  • Remember how Jesus was betrayed when things were going down?
  • Now imagine a criminal sentenced to crucifixion turning to Jesus and how that made Jesus feel.
  • Now consider how Jesus responded to him: ‘And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”’ — Luke 23:43
  • Imagine the peace, the joy, the hope that would have come over that criminal from hearing Jesus’ promise.
  • Imagine the transformation of heart and mind between before meeting Jesus and after meeting Jesus. Imagine the testimony this man would give to people about how his life was transformed by Jesus.
  • Don’t let your past define you, what matters is your identity in Christ and your eternal destination in heaven with God.
  • Are you ready for such a change today?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
How does the promise of paradise affect your perspective about death?
  • It is not only a sign of what is to come for those who believe and receive Jesus but a promise of how eternity with God will be.
  • Paradise, looking up the definition and synonyms brings up some very interesting things – all positive and most pointing to God.
  • Will you accept the gift of grace from God that is Jesus?
  • Will you share how God transformed your life through Jesus by telling people your testimony of life before and after your encounter with Jesus?
How does it shape your view of life today?
  • It is important to make the right decision here today rather than run the risk of missing out on paradise when it is time for us to die in our physical bodies and move into our spiritual bodies for eternity.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

The ultimate victory is eternity with Jesus Christ.”

Zig Ziglar

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


Where are you at today? Are you looking for guidance? Are you wondering where to turn? Are you at the end of your rope and needing help? Are you ready for some help? Are you ready to turn to God and ask? seek? knock? Let’s pray together.

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Motives and responses…


How are you going to choose to live your life? Will you choose to live it with honesty and integrity? Will you choose to live it with anxiety and anger? Do you realize the impact it will have on your motives when it comes to making a decision or taking action? Will you live your life in a way that is honorable? Will you live your life in a way that is reputable? Will you live your life in a way that is law abiding? Will you live your life in a way that is worthy of a higher calling? Will you live your life in a way that is moral and ethical? Will you live your life in a way that is virtuous and high principled? Will you live your life in a way that is noble? Will you live your life in a way that is incorruptible and conscientious? Will you live in a way that will cause you to be an honest and integral person?

Do you realize that allowing your life to driven or lived with anxiety and anger will tear you up from the inside out? Do you realize the impact it will have on your motives and decisions? Do you really want to live your life in a way that anxious? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is disturbed or perturbed? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is troubled or bothered? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is upset or uneasy? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is agitated or on edge? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is tense and jumpy? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is stressed and distracted? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is nervous or stressed? Do you really want to live your life in a way that is spooked or unsettled?

We all have a choice to make. We all have a decision to make. And it will impact our motives and responses for the rest of our lives. As I think and reflect on this the words that came to mind were be quick to listen, slow to speak… and so I went and grabbed the verse it came from and the message that follows it. I also decided to use the AMP translation as it brings in additional context and flavor to the message being communicated.

‘Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving]; for the [resentful, deep-seated] anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God [that standard of behavior which He requires from us]. So get rid of all uncleanness and all that remains of wickedness, and with a humble spirit receive the word [of God] which is implanted [actually rooted in your heart], which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word [actively and continually obeying God’s precepts], and not merely listeners [who hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning], deluding yourselves [by unsound reasoning contrary to the truth]. For if anyone only listens to the word without obeying it, he is like a man who looks very carefully at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he immediately forgets what he looked like. But he who looks carefully into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and faithfully abides by it, not having become a [careless] listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he will be blessed and favored by God in what he does [in his life of obedience]. If anyone thinks himself to be religious [scrupulously observant of the rituals of his faith], and does not control his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person’s religion is worthless (futile, barren). Pure and unblemished religion [as it is expressed in outward acts] in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit and look after the fatherless and the widows in their distress, and to keep oneself uncontaminated by the [secular] world.’

James 1:19-27

So today as we are about to jump into today’s devotional we face a decision about what we will believe and how it will impact our motives and responses. Choose wisely! Are you ready to serve the orphans, the fatherless, and the widows? Are you ready to live your life unpolluted by the ways of the world and pursue God’s will through a relationship with Jesus?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard 
for March 27th


Upright or Uptight?


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Psalms 32:10-11

‘Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; But he who trusts in the Lord , mercy shall surround him. Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Decisions
  • Do you make bad decisions based on selfishness?
  • Do you make selfish decisions that cause other’s pain?
  • Do you make selfish decisions that cause tremendous stress?
  • Do you realize that you are doing it?
  • When you realize that you are doing it, how do you respond?
  • Do you turn to God?
  • Do you wait too long and multiply the pain and the stress?
  • Do you wait too long and allow it to build up and cause sorrow and outbursts of anger?
  • The statement “Methinks thou dost protest too much” comes to mind as I consider when people point out the faults.
  • Are you too busy trying to cover things up that you don’t have time to make things right?
  • Are you too busy trying to cover things up that you are ruining relationships by breaking trust rather than living with integrity and honesty in order to rebuild relationship?
  • You don’t need to be perfect! Are you willing to be honest though?
  • Will you be willing to confess like David did in Psalms 32?
  • Will you allow honesty to be the best policy?
  • Will you confess in order to stop having to carry around the pain and aguish of hiding or masking the sins of your life?
  • Are you ready to find true freedom by confessing to God your mistakes and allow His forgiveness to cleanse you and refill your heart with hope?
  • Will you allow God to intersect and intervene in your life so that you can receive His mercy and grace?
  • Will you invite Jesus into your heart so that you can find forgiveness and eternity with God?
  • Will you make the decision to walk out your life with God in order to live a life filled with thanksgiving and praise?
  • Will you make the decision to receive Jesus in order to be able to be thankful in all situations?
  • Will you make the decision so as to be able to consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds?
  • Will you make the decision so that you can take heart when you face troubles of this world?
  • Don’t you want to have thankfulness at home? at work? in our health? with our families? with our friends? with our country? with every good and perfect gift that comes from God?
  • Are you ready to spend eternity with God?
  • Are you ready to receive God’s infinite mercies?
  • Are you ready to invite Jesus into your heart and allow Him to clean up your heart health?
  • Are you ready to allow the Holy Spirit to help purify your thoughts and direct your actions?
  • It’s not possible to do enough in our own power to make it right. It just takes accepting the gift of grace through Jesus Christ into our lives!
  • God so loves the world that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life with God.
  • For us to have the clean and pure heart that God desires requires that we receive it from God!
  • It comes from God’s kindness to see the worst in us and love us and forgive us!
  • So let’s choose to invite Jesus into our hearts and then shout for joy and celebrate our forgiveness and freedom that we have received through our decision to follow Jesus!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
What are some selfish choices in your life that have made you uptight?
Take those to God and thank Him for His wonderful mercy and forgiveness.

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

The Christian church is a society of sinners. It is the only society in the world membership in which is based upon the single qualification that the candidate shall be unworthy of membership. 

Charles Clayton Morrison

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So how will you choose to live the rest of your life? As I was writing today the aha that this weekend is Palm Sunday came to mind and that the week ahead is the Passion Week leading up to Good Friday and Easter. What an incredible time to reflect and consider how we want our destiny to be.

Where are you at today? Are you looking for guidance? Are you wondering where to turn? Are you at the end of your rope and needing help? Are you ready for some help? Are you ready to turn to God and ask? seek? knock? Let’s pray together.

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Seeing a challenging situation?


How do you respond to challenging situations? Are you someone who is willing to burn bridges or rather someone who prefers to build bridges? Are you someone who is ready to end relationships rather than work on restoring them? Are you someone who looks to find common ground on which to build? Are you someone who is ready to just walk away?

Imagine a year with challenges. Will you try to go it in your own strength or will you lean on God for wisdom and direction into what to do and how to respond? Will you take it all personally and put up walls? Will you look to understand or just cut ties and move on? Will you look to talk it through or will you take offense and turn your back on them? Are you ready and willing to give forgiveness a try? Are you willing to go the route of forgiveness rather than be robbed because of anger, bitterness, and frustration?

Ever realized where burning bridges came from? It was a military tactic to prevent the possibility of retreat. It was a military tactic to prevent others from following you. Most people who use it today probably take it to mean doing something that can’t easily be undone or reversed usually due to an offense or being mistreated. Before you choose to burn bridges you better be sure you don’t ever want to go back that way. If you are going to burn a bridge is it because your integrity requires it? If you are going to burn a bridge is it because you need to support a friend? If you are going to burn a bridge is it because someone is trying to put out your light or flame through lies and taking advantage of you? If you are going to burn a bridge is it because the environment is toxic and you want to make sure you never go back?

Will you trust God in the midst of trials, troubles, and tribulations? Will you take heart when you face them by leaning in on God? Will you consider the joy of why you are needing or getting to go through such trials and tribulations? Let’s not get worried or confused but instead cast our cares on God! Let’s not forget the bigger picture and as the disciples discovered in Acts 5, they were considered worthy of suffering for the name of Jesus. Let’s consider it pure joy as we read in James 1. And let’s trust God’s timing! God’s timing is perfect and through perseverance finishing its work we can get to the place of being complete and lacking nothing!

So how will you see things the next time you are faced with a challenging situation? Will you be burning bridges? Will you be building bridges? Will you allow festering of bitterness? Will you allow healing of forgiveness? The decision and the choice are yours!


Today’s daily devotional:

The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard for March 8th


Building Bridges


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Matthew 5:9

‘Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.’


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Conflicts
  • Will you allow anger to simmer to the point of destructive bitterness?
  • Will you allow anger to simmer to the point of destructive hatred?
  • Will you allow anger to simmer to the point of destructive responses?
  • Will you allow anger to simmer to the point of destroying relationships?
  • Will you allow anger to simmer to the point of using sarcasm or insult to hurt others?
  • How do you respond when faced with conflict?
    • clinched fist?
    • raising voice?
    • become demanding?
    • use intimidation?
    • avoid eye contact?
    • get quiet?
    • give in or give up?
  • What could or how could you respond differently in order to build trust and understanding?
  • Are you willing to show how you treasure your relationship with others out of mutual respect?
  • Are you willing to work hard to work through challenges in order to show how much you treasure the relationship?
  • Will you look for the best in order to try and resolve the situation/conflict and find the misunderstanding?
  • If this has been going on for a while, are you willing to take the time to bring the healing into the situation?
  • What would it take to get you from bitterness to forgiveness? Forgiveness is the key!
  • Will you be a peacemaker to help build the bridges you find broken down and abused?
  • Will you be a peacemaker to help people get beyond the anger and frustration and bitterness and be able to start to heal through forgiveness?
  • Let’s be people who bring hope, trust, and love into the situation!

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
How has conflict affected your stress levels, your happiness, and your relatioships?
  • Yes – check out the story on YouTube with keywords Story Slam, GoDaddy, and Forgiveness.
Where and how might you be a peacemaker to build bridges between people in conflict?
  • be a good listener in order to try and understand the gap that needs a bridge

QUOTE(S) FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

The meek man will attain a place of soul rest. As he walks on in meekness he will be happy to let God defend him. The old struggle to defend himself is over. He has found the peace which meekness brings.

A. W. Tozer (1897–1963)

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


So where are you at today? What decision is before you? How are you going to decide to proceed?

Where are you at today? Are you looking for guidance? Are you wondering where to turn? Are you at the end of your rope and needing help? Are you ready for some help? Are you ready to turn to God and ask? seek? knock? Let’s pray together.

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Catalysts…


As the week draws to a close and my morning exercise time and reading are done. The word that came to my mind was catalyst as the book I am reading/reviewing triggered something in me. It kindled up thoughts of my childhood and the word “Gentle Giant” is now bouncing around in my head. It may have triggered the idea to write a book from the perspective of a young boy who is big for his age and the impact it has on his life, then and now. You never know when a catalyst for something may appear. You never know what the catalyst might be nor what it might be a catalyst for. When I think of my story about forgiveness, the catalyst ended up being tax season. When I think about my story of stepping up when called because God doesn’t call the qualified but rather qualifies the called. When I think about my story of relationship over rituals and routines, the catalyst of a big move. There are many other stories and they each had a catalyst. How about you? Are you ready for the catalyst that might appear in your life today?

“What is a catalyst?”, you may ask.

What is a catalyst?

Are you ready if a catalyst occurs in your life today?


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard for February 26th


Doing God’s Will


MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Joshua 1:8

‘This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. ‘


POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Do you understand or are you confused when it comes to God’s will?
  • Do you think it requires God speaking audibly to you? Either with a still quiet voice or a loud booming one?
  • Do you think it requires signs?
  • Do you think you can find it through reading God’s Word?
  • Do you think you can find it by meditating on God’s Word?
  • God can’t and doesn’t fit in a box and He is able to use a multiple of ways to communicate His will to you.
  • Do you want to know God’s will? Are you putting yourself in a position to be able to hear it?
  • The noise of life and drown out a lot of things and as such you may need to make room to help you hear it.
  • Do you make time to hear from God through His Word? I know through my life God has spoken to me during my morning time with Him through His Word. It still amazes me how a book written so long ago is alive and can speak to me right here, right now, into my very life and situation.
  • Want to know what to do and where to go? Why go to the lamp unto your feet and the light unto your path?
  • Why not turn to God’s Word in order to understand right and wrong, good and evil, and grasp the heart of God? Why not turn to His Word and receive God’s wisdom for your life?
  • What to know God’s heart? Read His Word!
  • What to examine your own heart? Read His Word!
  • Consider the direction you are heading!
  • If God says you are heading the wrong direction or missing the mark, why not turn back to Him and ask Him not only for wisdom but forgiveness for having tried to walk away?
  • If you want to know His will, you need to spend time with Him and His Word!
  • Are you willing to do work in order to receive wisdom and instruction and correction?
  • Are you willing to dive deeper into God’s Word in order to receive more than surface level wisdom and knowledge?
  • Are you willing to mine out the wisdom and knowledge of God in order to be blessed and build strong and successful relationships with God and with others?
  • Will you allow God’s Word to permeate and penetrate your mind so that throughout your day His Word is able to speak to you in every moment and situation to help you make good decisions?
  • Do you want to be productive? Why not take hold of God’s Word and allow it to lead and guide you as the lamp unto your feet and the light unto your path that it is supposed to be?

DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
Describe the blend of how God uses circumstances, the Spirit’s whisper, and His Word to guide us.
  • Circumstances can push us in a direction
  • God’s Spirit’s whisper can direct us in what we should do — if we are willing to be quiet enough to hear it and obedient enough to do it.
  • God’s Word is alive! The Bible is God breathed!
    • ‘All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.’ — II Timothy 3:16-17
What would it take (in motivation, discipline, and time) for you to make internalizing God’s Word a habit in your life?
  • A catalyst
  • A decision to start
  • A dedication to never stop
  • To choose to pick up God’s Word and start walking in it and with it.

QUOTES FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

“When we want to know God’s will, there are three things which always concur: the inward impulse, the Word of God and the trend of circumstances. Never act until these three things agree.”

— F.B. Meyer

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


Where are you at today? Are you looking for guidance? Are you wondering where to turn? Are you at the end of your rope and needing help? Are you ready for some help? Are you ready to turn to God and ask? seek? knock? Let’s pray together.

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


Decide and Get Ready!


There are days when to move forward you need to know where everyone stands and so you need to check and ask. You can’t assume you know but rather you need to ask and validate. You need to the truth to be on the table and focused for we know that the truth will set us free. We can’t just put out statements or rumors, we need to look at the data and analyze it so that we can then come together understanding the good, the bad, and the ugly in order to be able to attack the problem, solve the problem, and move on united.

Be it with a team, a group, a family, a friend, or others, we need to put the problem in the center of the table and attack the problem rather than each other using the truth in love. We need to be united in our care for one another rather than name calling or attacking each others that will create an even greater divide. We need to come together using the truth to heal the disenfranchised and reunite the entire group of people.

We need the truth for that will set us free! We need to be united because divided we will fall. So let us not allow the lies, the rumors, the miscellaneous information detract us from the healing process and becoming united together.

The battle isn’t against flesh and blood but against the powers and principalities of this dark world. The devil comes to rob, kill, and destroy and uses lies and division is his #1 tool. So let’s be committed to the healing process which will mean we will need to be committed to the truth.

Today my focus on preparing for camps and all the work and planning associated with it.


The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard for January 10th

Designer Label

MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: Genesis 1:26

‘Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” ‘

POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
  • Where did you get your sense of identity?
  • When you were growing up where did you get your sense of identity?
  • As an adult where do you get your sense of identity?
  • Does it change or is it fixed?
  • Does it evolve or is it solid?
  • Was it from your parents, your friends, your teachers, your employers, your employees, …?
  • Have you ever heard or receive the message about how God created?
  • Have you ever had your identity based on how God created and why God created you?
  • Have you ever had your identity based on the purpose and the plan that you were created for?
  • You were created on purpose, for a purpose, with a purpose! You are not an accident or a mistake! God wasn’t surprised!
  • Have you ever compared or considered what God says about you rather than what people are saying about you?
  • How about what you say vs what God says? Going to stop the list for a sec and bring in a visual for us to have for reflection and consideration.
DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Be honest.
  • An older me
  • A wiser me thanks to what God has done in and through my life
  • A better me thanks to what God has done in and through my life
  • A servant of the most High God who loves God and loves people
How would it affect your attitude and choices today if you saw yourself as someone who has been skillfully crafted by Almighty God?
QUOTES FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

If God exists and we are made in His image we can have real meaning, and we can have real knowledge through what He has communicated to us. 

— FRANCIS A. SCHAEFFER

Today’s reading from Tanakh:


Where are you at today? Are you looking for guidance? Are you wondering where to turn? Are you at the end of your rope and needing help? Are you ready for some help? Are you ready to turn to God and ask? seek? knock? Let’s pray together.

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?


A decision is better than indecision.


Do you realize that inaction is an action? Do you realize indecision is a decision? Do you realize that a decision is better than indecision? It’s today, the first day of the rest of your life and you will be faced with needing to decide something. Indecision is an option, it just may not be the best one for your current situation. As my day begins it is interesting that a quote was near the beginning of one of my social feeds and it says “Decisiveness Is A Characteristic Of High-Performing Men And Women. Almost Any Decision Is Better Than No Decision At All.” and it comes from Brian Tracy. Yesterday as I was getting back to my reading in the book Chase The Lion by Mark Batterson, a few takeaway notes I captured include comments about how inaction is an action and indecision is a decision. It brought up the interesting question and consideration of how people today are asking if things will ever go back to normal. But is normal where we really want to go? Should we be digging in to see how God would use us and want to us to live? Should we be focusing more on pressing in and pressing on to accomplish the Father’s work or business? As we consider the big picture we need to consider how to process our current situation. Are we at what some might call a tipping point? Are we at a moment in time that would be considered a decisive moment? What is it that God would have us do? Perfect love overcomes fear. There is no need to worry or fear when the Lord is leading us and directing our steps. It calls out how our actions and inactions have eternal ramifications. It calls out how inaction is forfeiting the future. It even called out the quote “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” which has been attributed to Edmond Burke since the 1920s. It spoke of how history has been broken in half by the birth of Jesus and calls us to stop living like we are living in the times B.C. and how rereading the book of Revelation which conveniently is where we find ourselves in our reading plan The 49-Week Challenge, reminds us how love wins and hate loses, how faith wins and fear loses. So as I woke up early this morning and begin blogging and considering God’s will in and through my life, I take hold of these truths as well as some words of wisdom from my reading yesterday that pointed to to fight. We need to fight darkness with light! We need to fight fear with faith! We need to fight hate with hope! We need to take hold of the victory that Jesus has already won as we read yesterday in Revelation 1 that Jesus who was dead is alive forever and holds the keys of death and Hades. So as we begin today we need not fear! So as we begin today we need to remember that with Jesus having already won the victory that we don’t have to worry because the gates of hale can’t and won’t prevail against us!

So let’s grab hold of the truth of Matthew 16:18-19 which says: 18And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Let’s grab hold of the truth of 1 John 5:4 which says: 4for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.

So as we begin our today, let’s lean in on the truth of the Word of God and the promises of God for our lives!


Today’s verse of the Day: Isaiah 60:3

‘ And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. [Isa. 2:2, 3; Jer. 3:17.]’

Isaiah 60:3 AMPC

Let’s turn to God’s Word and hear what it is saying to us and how we must live out these days of our lives!


Some say that hindsight is 2020. So what can we learn from that hindsight to ensure we don’t repeat the troubles or mistakes of the past and move forward pursuing God’s will in our lives? How can we make today count for the glory of the kingdom of God? How can we live out today and be decisive? How can we live out today shining our light to overcome the darkness? How can we live out our today with hope over hate? How can we live out our today with faith to overcome the lies of the devil who comes to rob, kill, and destroy and reject the fear he is trying to create and generate?

The 49 week challenge
Day 314

Want to join me in the challenge? Click Day 314 link to join me and sign up. It is never too late. The 49 week challenge has 6 days in which to notice a promise to trust, a command to obey, a truth to embrace, a warning to heed, or an encouragement to rest in and 1 day to reflect on what you’re learning and to share it with others, to think back over the week’s readings, to see connections between the various passages of the week. Each day we have time to talk to God and contemplate what is being said through His Word, and even more so on the 7th day.

How interested are you in what will happen today? How interested are you in what will be required of you today? How interested are you in what decisions you will need to make today? How interested are you in hearing from God today? How interested are you in accomplishing what God is calling you to do today? What if it were life and death decision? What if it were everlasting life and everlasting death decision? What if the decision that you make today will determine how you will spend the rest of eternity? Would it make a difference?

If you are interested in getting together or sharing the information together, please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.


Today’s reading
from GOD’S WORD–THE BIBLE:


My Notes:

  • Repent and return to your first love with the passion you once had
  • Don’t give up through the trials and troubles and suffering
  • Live as the new creation God has created you to be with a new name
  • Don’t fall into the unacceptable practices of society
  • Reject false doctrines and hold fast to what God has spoken through His Word
  • Reflect on the lessons of the churches
  • ‘ “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
    “To the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death.
    “To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives. Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality. Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.
    “To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets, ‘I will not impose any other burden on you, except to hold on to what you have until I come.’ To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations— that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery’ —just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give that one the morning star. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
    Revelation 2:1-29
  • ‘Then the word of the Lord came to Jehu son of Hanani concerning Baasha: “I lifted you up from the dust and appointed you ruler over my people Israel, but you followed the ways of Jeroboam and caused my people Israel to sin and to arouse my anger by their sins. So I am about to wipe out Baasha and his house, and I will make your house like that of Jeroboam son of Nebat. Dogs will eat those belonging to Baasha who die in the city, and birds will feed on those who die in the country.” As for the other events of Baasha’s reign, what he did and his achievements, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? Baasha rested with his ancestors and was buried in Tirzah. And Elah his son succeeded him as king. Moreover, the word of the Lord came through the prophet Jehu son of Hanani to Baasha and his house, because of all the evil he had done in the eyes of the Lord , arousing his anger by the things he did, becoming like the house of Jeroboam—and also because he destroyed it.
    In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah, Elah son of Baasha became king of Israel, and he reigned in Tirzah two years. Zimri, one of his officials, who had command of half his chariots, plotted against him. Elah was in Tirzah at the time, getting drunk in the home of Arza, the palace administrator at Tirzah. Zimri came in, struck him down and killed him in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah. Then he succeeded him as king. As soon as he began to reign and was seated on the throne, he killed off Baasha’s whole family. He did not spare a single male, whether relative or friend. So Zimri destroyed the whole family of Baasha, in accordance with the word of the Lord spoken against Baasha through the prophet Jehu— because of all the sins Baasha and his son Elah had committed and had caused Israel to commit, so that they aroused the anger of the Lord , the God of Israel, by their worthless idols. As for the other events of Elah’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?
    In the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, Zimri reigned in Tirzah seven days. The army was encamped near Gibbethon, a Philistine town. When the Israelites in the camp heard that Zimri had plotted against the king and murdered him, they proclaimed Omri, the commander of the army, king over Israel that very day there in the camp. Then Omri and all the Israelites with him withdrew from Gibbethon and laid siege to Tirzah. When Zimri saw that the city was taken, he went into the citadel of the royal palace and set the palace on fire around him. So he died, because of the sins he had committed, doing evil in the eyes of the Lord and following the ways of Jeroboam and committing the same sin Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit. As for the other events of Zimri’s reign, and the rebellion he carried out, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?
    Then the people of Israel were split into two factions; half supported Tibni son of Ginath for king, and the other half supported Omri. But Omri’s followers proved stronger than those of Tibni son of Ginath. So Tibni died and Omri became king. In the thirty-first year of Asa king of Judah, Omri became king of Israel, and he reigned twelve years, six of them in Tirzah. He bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver and built a city on the hill, calling it Samaria, after Shemer, the name of the former owner of the hill. But Omri did evil in the eyes of the Lord and sinned more than all those before him. He followed completely the ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat, committing the same sin Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit, so that they aroused the anger of the Lord , the God of Israel, by their worthless idols. As for the other events of Omri’s reign, what he did and the things he achieved, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? Omri rested with his ancestors and was buried in Samaria. And Ahab his son succeeded him as king.
    In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab son of Omri became king of Israel, and he reigned in Samaria over Israel twenty-two years. Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him. He not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, but he also married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal and worship him. He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he built in Samaria. Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to arouse the anger of the Lord , the God of Israel, than did all the kings of Israel before him. In Ahab’s time, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. He laid its foundations at the cost of his firstborn son Abiram, and he set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, in accordance with the word of the Lord spoken by Joshua son of Nun.’
    1 Kings 16:1-34
  • ‘The prophet Elisha summoned a man from the company of the prophets and said to him, “Tuck your cloak into your belt, take this flask of olive oil with you and go to Ramoth Gilead. When you get there, look for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi. Go to him, get him away from his companions and take him into an inner room. Then take the flask and pour the oil on his head and declare, ‘This is what the Lord says: I anoint you king over Israel.’ Then open the door and run; don’t delay!” So the young prophet went to Ramoth Gilead. When he arrived, he found the army officers sitting together. “I have a message for you, commander,” he said. “For which of us?” asked Jehu. “For you, commander,” he replied. Jehu got up and went into the house. Then the prophet poured the oil on Jehu’s head and declared, “This is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says: ‘I anoint you king over the Lord ’s people Israel. You are to destroy the house of Ahab your master, and I will avenge the blood of my servants the prophets and the blood of all the Lord ’s servants shed by Jezebel. The whole house of Ahab will perish. I will cut off from Ahab every last male in Israel—slave or free. I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat and like the house of Baasha son of Ahijah. As for Jezebel, dogs will devour her on the plot of ground at Jezreel, and no one will bury her.’ ” Then he opened the door and ran. When Jehu went out to his fellow officers, one of them asked him, “Is everything all right? Why did this maniac come to you?” “You know the man and the sort of things he says,” Jehu replied. “That’s not true!” they said. “Tell us.” Jehu said, “Here is what he told me: ‘This is what the Lord says: I anoint you king over Israel.’ ” They quickly took their cloaks and spread them under him on the bare steps. Then they blew the trumpet and shouted, “Jehu is king!”
    So Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi, conspired against Joram. (Now Joram and all Israel had been defending Ramoth Gilead against Hazael king of Aram, but King Joram had returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds the Arameans had inflicted on him in the battle with Hazael king of Aram.) Jehu said, “If you desire to make me king, don’t let anyone slip out of the city to go and tell the news in Jezreel.” Then he got into his chariot and rode to Jezreel, because Joram was resting there and Ahaziah king of Judah had gone down to see him. When the lookout standing on the tower in Jezreel saw Jehu’s troops approaching, he called out, “I see some troops coming.” “Get a horseman,” Joram ordered. “Send him to meet them and ask, ‘Do you come in peace?’ ” The horseman rode off to meet Jehu and said, “This is what the king says: ‘Do you come in peace?’ ” “What do you have to do with peace?” Jehu replied. “Fall in behind me.” The lookout reported, “The messenger has reached them, but he isn’t coming back.” So the king sent out a second horseman. When he came to them he said, “This is what the king says: ‘Do you come in peace?’ ” Jehu replied, “What do you have to do with peace? Fall in behind me.” The lookout reported, “He has reached them, but he isn’t coming back either. The driving is like that of Jehu son of Nimshi—he drives like a maniac.” “Hitch up my chariot,” Joram ordered. And when it was hitched up, Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah rode out, each in his own chariot, to meet Jehu. They met him at the plot of ground that had belonged to Naboth the Jezreelite. When Joram saw Jehu he asked, “Have you come in peace, Jehu?” “How can there be peace,” Jehu replied, “as long as all the idolatry and witchcraft of your mother Jezebel abound?” Joram turned about and fled, calling out to Ahaziah, “Treachery, Ahaziah!” Then Jehu drew his bow and shot Joram between the shoulders. The arrow pierced his heart and he slumped down in his chariot. Jehu said to Bidkar, his chariot officer, “Pick him up and throw him on the field that belonged to Naboth the Jezreelite. Remember how you and I were riding together in chariots behind Ahab his father when the Lord spoke this prophecy against him: ‘Yesterday I saw the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons, declares the Lord , and I will surely make you pay for it on this plot of ground, declares the Lord .’ Now then, pick him up and throw him on that plot, in accordance with the word of the Lord .” When Ahaziah king of Judah saw what had happened, he fled up the road to Beth Haggan. Jehu chased him, shouting, “Kill him too!” They wounded him in his chariot on the way up to Gur near Ibleam, but he escaped to Megiddo and died there. His servants took him by chariot to Jerusalem and buried him with his ancestors in his tomb in the City of David. (In the eleventh year of Joram son of Ahab, Ahaziah had become king of Judah.)
    Then Jehu went to Jezreel. When Jezebel heard about it, she put on eye makeup, arranged her hair and looked out of a window. As Jehu entered the gate, she asked, “Have you come in peace, you Zimri, you murderer of your master?” He looked up at the window and called out, “Who is on my side? Who?” Two or three eunuchs looked down at him. “Throw her down!” Jehu said. So they threw her down, and some of her blood spattered the wall and the horses as they trampled her underfoot. Jehu went in and ate and drank. “Take care of that cursed woman,” he said, “and bury her, for she was a king’s daughter.” But when they went out to bury her, they found nothing except her skull, her feet and her hands. They went back and told Jehu, who said, “This is the word of the Lord that he spoke through his servant Elijah the Tishbite: On the plot of ground at Jezreel dogs will devour Jezebel’s flesh. Jezebel’s body will be like dung on the ground in the plot at Jezreel, so that no one will be able to say, ‘This is Jezebel.’ ”’
    2 Kings 9:1-37
  • ‘You have searched me, Lord , and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord , know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you. If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty! They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord , and abhor those who are in rebellion against you? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.’
    Psalms 139:1-24
  • ‘“Woe to the obstinate children,” declares the Lord , “to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit, heaping sin upon sin; who go down to Egypt without consulting me; who look for help to Pharaoh’s protection, to Egypt’s shade for refuge. But Pharaoh’s protection will be to your shame, Egypt’s shade will bring you disgrace. Though they have officials in Zoan and their envoys have arrived in Hanes, everyone will be put to shame because of a people useless to them, who bring neither help nor advantage, but only shame and disgrace.” A prophecy concerning the animals of the Negev: Through a land of hardship and distress, of lions and lionesses, of adders and darting snakes, the envoys carry their riches on donkeys’ backs, their treasures on the humps of camels, to that unprofitable nation, to Egypt, whose help is utterly useless. Therefore I call her Rahab the Do-Nothing. Go now, write it on a tablet for them, inscribe it on a scroll, that for the days to come it may be an everlasting witness. For these are rebellious people, deceitful children, children unwilling to listen to the Lord ’s instruction. They say to the seers, “See no more visions!” and to the prophets, “Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!” Therefore this is what the Holy One of Israel says: “Because you have rejected this message, relied on oppression and depended on deceit, this sin will become for you like a high wall, cracked and bulging, that collapses suddenly, in an instant. It will break in pieces like pottery, shattered so mercilessly that among its pieces not a fragment will be found for taking coals from a hearth or scooping water out of a cistern.” This is what the Sovereign Lord , the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’ Therefore you will flee! You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’ Therefore your pursuers will be swift! A thousand will flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you will all flee away, till you are left like a flagstaff on a mountaintop, like a banner on a hill.” Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Then you will desecrate your idols overlaid with silver and your images covered with gold; you will throw them away like a menstrual cloth and say to them, “Away with you!” He will also send you rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the food that comes from the land will be rich and plentiful. In that day your cattle will graze in broad meadows. The oxen and donkeys that work the soil will eat fodder and mash, spread out with fork and shovel. In the day of great slaughter, when the towers fall, streams of water will flow on every high mountain and every lofty hill. The moon will shine like the sun, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven full days, when the Lord binds up the bruises of his people and heals the wounds he inflicted. See, the Name of the Lord comes from afar, with burning anger and dense clouds of smoke; his lips are full of wrath, and his tongue is a consuming fire. His breath is like a rushing torrent, rising up to the neck. He shakes the nations in the sieve of destruction; he places in the jaws of the peoples a bit that leads them astray. And you will sing as on the night you celebrate a holy festival; your hearts will rejoice as when people playing pipes go up to the mountain of the Lord , to the Rock of Israel. The Lord will cause people to hear his majestic voice and will make them see his arm coming down with raging anger and consuming fire, with cloudburst, thunderstorm and hail. The voice of the Lord will shatter Assyria; with his rod he will strike them down. Every stroke the Lord lays on them with his punishing club will be to the music of timbrels and harps, as he fights them in battle with the blows of his arm. Topheth has long been prepared; it has been made ready for the king. Its fire pit has been made deep and wide, with an abundance of fire and wood; the breath of the Lord , like a stream of burning sulfur, sets it ablaze.’
    Isaiah 30:1-33

As day 314 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision today and the blessing to get to live out the rest of the year in that power and that truth and that hope.

If you would like to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why not join me in this prayer?

Heavenly Father 
I come to you in prayer asking for the 
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my 
mouth and believe with my heart that 
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the 
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven. 
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of 
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose 
from the dead and I ask you right now to 
come in to my life and be my personal 
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and 
will Worship you all the day's of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with 
my mouth that I am Born Again and 
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus 
Name, Amen
Heavenly Father
I come to you in prayer asking for the
forgiveness of my Sins. I confess with my
mouth and believe with my heart that
Jesus is your Son, And that he died on the
Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of
Heaven. Father, I believe that Jesus rose
from the dead and I ask you right now to
come in to my life and be my personal
Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and
will Worship you all the day’s of my Life!
Because your word is truth, I confess with
my mouth that I am Born Again and
Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! In Jesus
Name, Amen

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Did you pray with me?
Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision?

Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?

Today’s devotional that I am following is The 49-Week Challenge comes from Life.Church. For more information, please visit www.life.church — Thank you Life.Church for sharing this reading plan through Bible.com

On the verge of something new…


It will take an extra second today before we start the new year, but we are really close. UTC time will add it so that this year we will see a 12:59:60.

Is there anything keeping you back from becoming all that God has in store for you? Is there anything in the way of something new happening in and thru your life? You are where you are at such a day and such a time for a purpose, what will you do with it? Where will you turn to get the wisdom you need? Who will you ask to give you a sign? How will you know the specifics?

As we count down 2016 are you setting goals for the new year? What is motivating the goals? What is driving the goals? Where are the ideas for the goals coming from? So what will you do about it? How will achieve this goals? Do they align to your purpose? Will you come up with a plan?  Will you take hold your time to accomplish what God is calling for you to do? How will 2017 be different? How will 2017 be special? How will 2017 make a difference? How will lives be changed and touched in 2017?

And with still today to be had — how will you close out the year strong?


10 days left in my 365 day devotional. How will it set me up for the year ahead? What message can I take from it as I consider what 2017 will include? How will I be able to please God in 2017? What can I do to bring Him praise and honor and worship? Today is the day that the Lord has made, so I will rejoice and be glad in it! We need to appreciate every day we have! We need to appreciate the lives of the people God has brought into our lives! We need to let them know how thankful we are for them and how much we love them! Today…not later when it might be too late and generate regrets! So no regrets and leave today to the fullest!


Listen to what is going on around you! Listen to what is being said! Listen to what will be the impact! Consider how it will or may impact God’s people! Be it Christians or Jews, consider what people are doing and saying that will and can impact God’s people! Do you hear what they are saying? Do you hear what they are doing? Do you realize the threats?

Consider from today’s reading what Haman did! What has taken place in the world recently? What could the impact be? Is there anything you can do about it? What if someone called for you to step up and step out and do something before it was too late? What if you had the position or the power like Esther and got asked to do something like Mordecai asked for Esther? How would you respond? What would you do? Could it be that you have been put in such a place for such a time as this?

What could change your perspective? What could change your vision? What could change your viewpoint? How would that impact your behavior and actions? Would you do anything?

Will you step up and step out to do what is required of you? Will you take time like Esther and be bold and courageous to step out and do what is necessary? Will you ask people to join you in prayer and fasting to ensure that you do what is right? Will you receive the favor that has been set before you? Will you do something about it? Will you hold tight to what the Lord has planned and purpose to do in and through your life? Will you do like Esther and step out to complete what she had been called to do?

Now do you realize what is really being asked or are you assuming? Might you be hearing one thing which doesn’t align to what is being said because you are too proud like what happened to Haiman? Do you realize what your pride could do? Do you remember how pride comes before the fall? Do you remember how you are to walk in humility? Will you be a humble servant of God? Will you be a servant leader of those God brings into your life?

So as this past year ends like a dream, as the great things happened, how will you move forward? Will you try to go it alone or will you turn to God the provider and align with Him? Let’s turn to God and ask of Him of what we have need of! Let’s ask, seek, and knock so that He will answer, we will find, and He will open!

So as we close today, let’s join in the final chapter of today’s reading together…

How to Please God

1Keep on loving one another as Christians. 2 Remember to welcome strangers in your homes. There were some who did that and welcomed angels without knowing it. 3Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them. Remember those who are suffering, as though you were suffering as they are.
4 Marriage is to be honored by all, and husbands and wives must be faithful to each other. God will judge those who are immoral and those who commit adultery.
5 Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never leave you; I will never abandon you.” 6 Let us be bold, then, and say,

“The Lord is my helper,
I will not be afraid.
What can anyone do to me?”

7Remember your former leaders, who spoke God’s message to you. Think back on how they lived and died, and imitate their faith. 8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 9Do not let all kinds of strange teachings lead you from the right way. It is good to receive inner strength from God’s grace, and not by obeying rules about foods; those who obey these rules have not been helped by them.
10The priests who serve in the Jewish place of worship have no right to eat any of the sacrifice on our altar. 11 The Jewish high priest brings the blood of the animals into the Most Holy Place to offer it as a sacrifice for sins; but the bodies of the animals are burned outside the camp. 12For this reason Jesus also died outside the city, in order to purify the people from sin with his own blood. 13Let us, then, go to him outside the camp and share his shame. 14For there is no permanent city for us here on earth; we are looking for the city which is to come. 15Let us, then, always offer praise to God as our sacrifice through Jesus, which is the offering presented by lips that confess him as Lord. 16Do not forget to do good and to help one another, because these are the sacrifices that please God.
17Obey your leaders and follow their orders. They watch over your souls without resting, since they must give to God an account of their service. If you obey them, they will do their work gladly; if not, they will do it with sadness, and that would be of no help to you.
18Keep on praying for us. We are sure we have a clear conscience, because we want to do the right thing at all times. 19And I beg you even more earnestly to pray that God will send me back to you soon.

Closing Prayer

20-21God has raised from death our Lord Jesus, who is the Great Shepherd of the sheep as the result of his blood, by which the eternal covenant is sealed. May the God of peace provide you with every good thing you need in order to do his will, and may he, through Jesus Christ, do in us what pleases him. And to Christ be the glory forever and ever! Amen.

Final Words

22I beg you, my friends, to listen patiently to this message of encouragement; for this letter I have written you is not very long. 23I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been let out of prison. If he comes soon enough, I will have him with me when I see you.
24Give our greetings to all your leaders and to all God’s people. The believers from Italy send you their greetings.
25May God’s grace be with you all.

–Hebrews 13

 


Today's Reading: Esther 3, Esther 4, Esther 5, Esther 6, Psalm 126, Hebrews 13

God’s Timing is perfect…


Do you realize the time you are living in? Do you realize the time that has gone by? Do you realize the time that is ahead? Do you realize what it means? Do you realize what needs to happen? Do you realize what you need to do? Do you realize what it will take? Will you stand up to make a difference? Will you stand out to get God’s attention? Will you humble yourself and submit yourself to God? Will you lead the people into a relationship with God? Will you point them to Jesus? Will you be an ambassador of peace? Will you be an ambassador of hope? Will you be an ambassador of Jesus to the world around you? Will make a request to God? Are you ready for the insight and wisdom from God? Are you ready to have things aligned and put into their right place?

Do you realize that Jesus came the first time to reconcile? Do you realize that Jesus came the first time to make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way? Do you realize that Jesus came the first time to pay the ultimate price, once and for all so that everyone who will believe in Him will not perish but have eternal life?

Will you choose life? Will you choose hope? Will you choose truth?

We do not have to be afraid! We can put all of our trust in Jesus! We do not have to worry but rather through prayer and petition we can raise our cares to God! We do not have to be afraid, we just need to believe! Even with the faith of a mustard seed if we tell a mountain to be thrown into the sea it will be done! Ask God to build your faith! Ask God to give you the boldness and courage you need for each day! Fellowship with Jesus throughout the day! Don’t try to go it alone but in all ways at all times, pray!

We don’t have to worry because the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it! Turn to God! Humble yourself and as Jesus into your heart that you can be reconciled to God! Be transformed! He is mindful of us! He can help us when we are tempted because He was tempted and overcame the temptation!

As we meditate and consider this, let’s close together with our reading from Hebrews 2…

Warning to Pay Attention

1We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, 3how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. 4God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

Jesus Made Fully Human

5It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. 6But there is a place where someone has testified:

“What is mankind that you are mindful of them,
a son of man that you care for him?
7You made them a little lower than the angels;
you crowned them with glory and honor
8and put everything under their feet.”

In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them. 9But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
10In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. 11Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. 12He says,

“I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters;
in the assembly I will sing your praises.”

13And again,

“I will put my trust in him.”

And again he says,

“Here am I, and the children God has given me.”

14Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abrahamʼs descendants. 17For this reason he had to be made like them,fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

–Hebrews 2

 


Today’s Reading: Daniel 9, Daniel 10, Psalm 50, Hebrews 2

What would it take to get things straightened out?


If your life was getting off track, what would it take to get straightened out?

If your family was getting off track, what would it take to get straightened out?

If you city or community was getting off track, what would it take to get straightened out?

If your state or province or country was getting off track, what would it take to get straightened out?

Today’s reading begins speaking to what Babylon’s part was in trying to get things straightened out. It speaks the role Babylon played.

How severe would it need to be in the questions posted above to get things straightened out? Would it have to be life or death level? Would it have to impact the good and the bad? Would you have to be riddled with fear or weakness? Would the threat have to be so severe that it might get your attention? What would it take to get you or people in general to turn back to God and align to His ways?

Would it have to be so bad and so terrifying for to get your attention? Or could a sign of heaven get your attention and get you to turn back to God?

What behaviors need to stop? What activities need to stop? What actions need to stop?

What behaviors need to be swapped out? What needs to begin? What needs to get restarted?

Do you see the bloodshed taking place? Innocent blood? Guilty blood?

What will it take for people to turn back to living life God’s way? What will it take to turn things around so that we are living lives of love? Loving God! Loving people!

Invite God into your life! Invite Jesus into your heart! Ask for forgiveness! Live as humble servants!

From top to bottom, from bottom to top, how will we align so that we will live with God rather than apart from God? Will we live lives of servant leadership? Will we humbly come before the throne of God? There is power in the name of Jesus! So will you confess, will you bow down before you are forced to? Will you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior?

So let’s reflect on the questions as we read from Galatians together…

1What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 2The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. 3So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. 4But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. 6Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7So you are no longer a slave, but Godʼs child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

Paulʼs Concern for the Galatians

8Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. 9But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? 10You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! 11I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.
12I plead with you, brothers and sisters, become like me, for I became like you. You did me no wrong. 13As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you, 14and even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. 15Where, then, is your blessing of me now? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?
17Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may have zeal for them. 18It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always, not just when I am with you. 19My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, 20how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!

Hagar and Sarah

21Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? 22For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. 23His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise.
24These things are being taken figuratively: The women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. 25Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. 26But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. 27For it is written:

“Be glad, barren woman,
you who never bore a child;
shout for joy and cry aloud,
you who were never in labor;
because more are the children of the desolate woman
than of her who has a husband.”

28Now you, brothers and sisters, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29At that time the son born according to the flesh persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. 30But what does Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave womanʼs son will never share in the inheritance with the free womanʼs son.” 31Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.

–from Galatians 4

Let’s live out our lives as children of God! Let’s cry out to our Abba Father!


Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 21, 22, Galatians 4

Where are you at today?


Are you rejoicing or lamenting? Are you celebrating or mourning? Are you dancing or weeping? Why?

What do you see around you? Does your perspective make the difference? Is it based on location? Is it based on situation? Is it based on circumstance?

Is it based on truth? Is it based on facts? Is it based on hypothesis? Is it based on speculation? Is it based on rumor? Is it based on gossip?

Is there hope? Is there expectations? Do you stand on solid ground? Are you rooted in good soil? Are you well nourished? Are you producing good fruit?

So will you be rebellious? So will you be obedient? We are all given the ability to choose!

Do you seek wisdom? Do you turn to God? Are you looking for answers? Are you seeking the truth? Do you know where you stand? Do you realize where you are heading? Are you hoping for more? Are your expectations right?

Will you humble yourself? Will you seek God with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength? Will you pray? Will you petition? Will you turn from wicked ways? Will you turn back to God? Do you seek forgiveness? Do you want to repent? Do you want healing in the land? Do you want unity? Do you want restoration? Do you want hope? Do you want joy?

Are you taking for granted what you have? Are you realizing the gifts you have been given? Do you realize the blessings in your life? Are you thankful?

Are you rebelling? Are you fighting? Are you arguing?

Will you be obedient to God’s will? Will you receive the gift of His Son Jesus Christ?

We all get a choice! Adults get a choice! Children get a choice! We each get to make our own choice! It’s our decision that we will be measured against! So have you chosen? Will you choose? Is the choice something you picked by following your parents? Is it from following your friends? Is it from peer pressure? Is it from freedom?

Will you be faithful? Do you realize that every good and perfect gift comes from God? Don’t worship the things or the stuff, worship God!

How bad do things need to get before you will turn back to God? How painful does it have to get before you fall down and cry out to God for help and for forgiveness? Would it take a vision of heaven or of hell to get your attention? Which would help you to choose? Which would provide you enough evidence to decide?

Don’t compare yourself to others! Don’t compare what you have to what they have! Do not covet!

It’s all about love! Love God! Love your neighbor! It’s when we miss out on these two facts that we get off track and start heading in the wrong direction!

How long will you make God wait? He is patient and desires that nobody would perish!

But not everyone will decide to choose Him and His way!

So as today’s reading concludes in Galatians, let’s read through it together and ponder where we are at and how we will respond to the call of God! Will you believe? Will you have faith? Will you give yourself to God and be adopted into His family?

Faith or Works of the Law

1You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? 3Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? 4Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? 5So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? 6So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
7Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. 8Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” 9So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
10For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” 11Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” 12The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.” 13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” 14He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

The Law and the Promise

15Brothers and sisters, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. 16The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ. 17What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.
19Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. 20A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one.
21Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.

Children of God

23Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.
26So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abrahamʼs seed, and heirs according to the promise.

–Galatians 3

 


Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 19, 20, Galatians 3

Are you walking in pride?


Do you realize how pride impacts your perspective? Do you realize how pride impacts your choices? Do you realize how pride drives your consequences?

Ever heard “pride comes before the fall“? Do you realize the impact pride is having over you and others? Do you realize the impact of pride on your nation?

Will you humble yourself before you need to be humbled? Will you turn back to God before it is too late? Will you turn back to God, humble yourself, and pray? Do you realize the benefits of doing this? Do you realize the consequences of not doing this?

Don’t be stubborn! Don’t be hard hearted! Don’t be so proud! Don’t be so disobedient!

Would you change if you knew what was coming ahead of time? Or will you continue on your way into darkness where you will stumble and fall because of your pride? We are at a crossroads and the decision is at hand. The decision that is made will determine the outcome and the consequences or the benefits of where our hearts and minds are at in relations to God!

Turn back to God before it is too late! Align your words, your thoughts, and your actions with God’s will! What you do and how you do it matter! Not just to you but to those around you and in some cases much broader than that.

So don’t be surprised by what happens! Don’t be shocked! Check the status of your heart and mind! Have you had a new heart created in you? Have you been renewing your mind?

Do you realize the consequences of things you’ve done on you, your family, your community, your country, and your world?

How spiritually dry do you want this world to get? How about if there was a physical drought that aligned with how societies relationship with God were? Can you feel what things are like today? Are they closer or further away from God than it was 10, 20, 30 years ago? Do you realize the impact of walking away from God? Do you realize the impact of walking out from under the protection of God? The devil is real! The devil’s plan is to lie, steal, and destroy you in the hopes of killing you! So don’t be deceived by the lies! Don’t be robbed of all that God desires for you! So don’t be cheated out of what was available to you! Turn back to God before you are destroyed! Come back under His covering! Receive Jesus! Return to Jesus! God desires for you to return – consider the story of the lost son! How far down the spiral do you want to go before you choose to turn back?

What this was the end of times? Which side would you end up on? God doesn’t want anyone to perish, but that decision is an individual one that we each get to and have to make for ourselves. God has a plan and it is to give you a hope and a future! God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life! Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world, but to save it!

So now we get to choose! I pray that you will choose before it is too late! I pray that you will choose before you don’t get to choose! I pray that I will get to see you and spend eternity with you in the presence of God!

God, I lift up the cries of my heart to You. I ask Lord for your wisdom and vision to be spoken into the young and old of this world that they may know the truth! I ask Lord that you will give them visions and dreams of what the future will or could be based on their decisions. I ask Lord in Jesus’ name that many lives will be saved, that Your name will be lifted up, that people will be transformed for Your glory. May You receive all the praise, the honor, and the glory Lord, in Jesus’ name.

Grant me protection Lord! Put a hedge of protection over my family and friends and acquaintances Lord that they will all receive the grace and the mercy You have to offer!

Lord, I know that in this world, we will have troubles! I know that in this world we will face trials of many kinds! I know Lord that you give us hope because Jesus has overcome the world and because You tell us to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds.

So let’s be generous! Let’s be giving! Let’s be forgiving! Let’s not be going about life focused on ourselves, but rather let’s be focusing on God’s plan, God’s purpose, God’s way lived in and out thru us.


Today’s reading: Jeremiah 1314, Psalms 141, Acts 24, 2 Corinthians 8

What’s leading or directing your decisions?


Faced with a decision to make, what is guiding you? Faced with decision to make, what is directing your path? Faced with decision to make, who or what are you following?

How about at work when options come before you? How about in your country when it comes to picking leadership during the elections? How about in your community when you need to choose where and when and if to get involved?

Is it based on peer pressure? Is it based on group decision? Is it based on a gut feel? Is it based on analyzing all the data? Is it based on alignment to God’s way and will?

sign-post-what-is-directing-your-decision-and-path

Imagine how things would be different if everyone put God in the center of all of their lives! Imagine Jesus being the center for every decision and hence being lead by the Holy Spirit in every decision you make!

jesus-at-the-center-of-it-all

Let’s stop focusing on the thing and start focusing on the creator! Let’s stop focusing on the created and start focusing on the creator! Let’s stop focusing on rituations and start focusing on having a relationship with God!


Today’s reading kicks off in this line in Hosea…

Idols Thrown Down

1“Put a shofar to your mouth! Like a vulture he comes against the house of Adonai. For they overstepped My covenant and transgressed My Torah. 2 Will they cry out to Me, ‘My God, we—Israel—knew You’? 3Israel has rejected goodness— an adversary will pursue him. 4They crowned kings, but not by Me. They appointed princes I did not approve. Their silver and gold they made into idols— just so they would be cut down. 5Samaria! Your calf is thrown down! My anger is kindled against them! How long will they be incapable of innocence? 6For a craftsman from Israel made it, so it is no god. For the calf of Samaria will be splinters. 7“For they sow wind, and reap a whirlwind. There is no mature grain— the sprout yields no meal. Should it produce anything, strangers would swallow it up. 8Israel has been swallowed up! Now they are among the nations, like an ornament with no delight in it. 9For they have gone up to Assyria, like a wild donkey alone by itself. Ephraim has hired lovers. 10Although they hire among the nations, I will now round them up. So they will begin to decrease under the burden of king and princes. 11“When Ephraim multiplied altars for making sin offerings, they became his altars for sinning. 12Though I were to write out for him ten thousand things from My Torah, they are regarded as something strange. 13Sacrifices are gifts for Me— should they sacrifice meat and then eat it? Adonai will not accept them. Now He will remember their iniquity and punish their sin— they will return to Egypt. 14For Israel has forgotten his Maker and built temples, while Judah has multiplied fortified cities. So I will send fire upon its cities that will consume their citadels.”

–from Hosea 8

How far away can you get before you get into trouble? How far from under the protective cover can you get before you get hurt? How far will you wander before you turn back?

Days of Desolation Are Coming

1Do not rejoice, O Israel, do not celebrate like the peoples— for so you have gone whoring away from your God. You have loved a prostitute’s pay, on every grain-threshing-floor. 2Threshing-floor and wine-press will not sustain them, and new wine will fail her. 3They will not dwell in Adonai’s land. Instead Ephraim will return to Egypt, and eat unclean food in Assyria. 4They will pour no wine-offerings to Adonai— they would not be pleasing to Him. Their sacrifices will be like the bread of mourners for them. All that eat it will be defiled, for their bread is for their appetite, not coming into the House of Adonai. 5What will you do for a moed or for the day of Adonai’s feast? 6Look, even if they escape the desolation, Egypt will gather them up; Memphis will bury them. And their precious silver treasures? Weeds will possess them. Thorns will be in their tents. 7The days of punishment have come; the days of retribution have come. Let Israel know! The prophet is a fool; the man of the spirit is mad! For great is your iniquity and great the hostility. 8Ephraim is a watchman with my God, a prophet. A bird catcher’s trap is on all his paths. Hostility is in the House of his God. 9They have deeply corrupted themselves as in the days of Gibeah. He will remember their iniquity, He will punish their sin. 10“Like grapes in the wilderness I found Israel. Like early fruit on a fig tree in its first season I saw your fathers. They came to Baal-peor and devoted themselves to shame. So they became as detestable as the thing they loved. 11Ephraim’s glory flies away like a bird— no birth, no pregnancy, no conception! 12For if they should raise their children, I would make them childless to the last man. Yes, woe to them when I depart from them! 13Ephraim, as I have seen, is like Tyre, planted in a meadow, but Ephraim will bring his children out to the slayer.” 14Give them, Adonai, what will You give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dried up breasts. 15“All their wickedness is at Gilgal, for there I despised them. Because of their wicked practices, I will drive them out of My House. I will love them no more. All their princes are rebellious. 16Ephraim is blighted; their root is withered; they bear no fruit. Even if they bring forth children, I will slay the cherished ones in their wombs.” 17My God will cast them off, since they did not listen to Him. So they will become wanderers among the nations.

–from Hosea 9

What is going to take to bring you back into alignment with God? Will you need to see something? Will you need to hear something? Will you need to feel something? Will you smell or sense something? What would need to happen to really get your attention?

Will you change the way you are living? Will you set an ethic to follow? Will you look to live righteously? Will you look to live a covenant of love? Will you soften your heart to the things and ways of God? Will you humble yourself and give your life up to God?

What will you sow? What will that cause you to reap?

Israel to be Shamed in Captivity

1A luxuriant vine is Israel, who produces fruit for himself. Like the abundance of his fruit he has multiplied his altars. Like the goodness of his land, they made beautiful sacred pillars. 2Their heart became smooth. Now they will bear their guilt. He will break down their altars. He will destroy their sacred pillars. 3Surely now they will say: “We have no king, for we have not feared Adonai. The king—what can he do for us?” 4They spoke words— empty oaths to make a covenant. But judgment springs up as hemlock in the furrows of the field. 5The inhabitants of Samaria will quarrel over the calves of Beth-aven. Indeed its people will mourn over it, but its priests will tremble over it. For its glory will surely depart from it. 6It also will be carried to Assyria as tribute to a warring king. Ephraim will receive shame and Israel will be put to shame by its own counsel. 7Samaria is being cut off. Her king is like a splinter on the surface of the water. 8The high places of Aven, the sin of Israel will be destroyed. Thorns and thistles will come up on their altars. And they will say to the mountains: “Cover us!” And to the hills: “Fall on us!” 9“From the days of Gibeah, you have sinned, O Israel. There they took their stand. Will not war over sons of iniquity overtake them in Gibeah? 10When I desire, I will chasten them, and peoples will gather against them when they are yoked to their two sins. 11Though Ephraim is a trained heifer that loves to thresh, I put a yoke over her fair neck. I will make Ephraim pull; Judah will plow; Jacob will drag a harrow by himself.”

Plow Up Your Ground

12Sow for yourselves righteousness. Reap in accord with covenant love. Break up your unplowed ground. For it is time to seek Adonai, until He comes and showers righteousness on you. 13You have plowed up wickedness, you have reaped iniquity. You have eaten the fruit of delusion, for you have trusted in your own way, in the multitude of your mighty men. 14A tumult will arise among your people. All your strongholds will be demolished, as Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel in the day of battle, when a mother was dashed in pieces with her children. 15Just so has Bethel done to you because of your great wickedness. At dawn the king of Israel will be utterly cut off.

–from Hosea 10

What’s it going to take for God to get your attention? Do you realize what He has already done for you? Do you realize how much Jesus did? Do you realize what is at hand? Do you realize what is available? Do you realize it’s a choice we each have to make individually? So choose wisely! Choose to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior and to follow Him all the rest of your life!

My Son Called Out

1“When Israel was a youth I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son. 2They called out to them but they departed from their presence. They kept sacrificing to the Baalim and burning incense up to idols. 3Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk. I took them on My arms. But they never acknowledged that I had healed them. 4With human cords I was drawing them, with bonds of love, and I became to them as One lifting a yoke from their jaws. I bent down to them and fed them. 5He will not return to the land of Egypt, but the Assyrian will be his king— because they refused to return. 6So a sword will fall on his cities, and destroy and devour his gate bars because of their own counsels. 7So My people are bent on turning from Me. Although they are being called upwards, none will rise up. 8“How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I surrender you, Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I set you as Zeboim? My heart is turning over within Me. My compassions are kindled. 9 I will not vent My fierce anger. I will not again destroy Ephraim. For I am God—not a man— the Holy One in the midst of you, and I will not come in fury.” 10They will walk after Adonai. He will roar like a lion. Indeed, He will roar and the children will come trembling from the west. 11“They will come trembling like a bird out of Egypt, like a dove out of the land of Assyria, and I will settle them in their houses.” It is a declaration of Adonai.

–from Hosea 11

Make your choice fast! Make your choice soon! Don’t wait till it is too late! Take a look around and see the signs of the season! Every year when I go through the Bible, I feel like we are getting closer based on what is taking place in the world!

you-have-a-choice-to-make-choose-wisely

Signs of the End

1As Yeshua was going out of the Temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, look! What stones and what buildings!” 2Yeshua said to him, “You see these great buildings? Not one stone here will be left upon another. Every one will be torn down!” 3As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the Temple, Peter, Jacob, John, and Andrew were questioning Him privately, 4“Tell us, when will these things happen? What will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?” 5Yeshua began to tell them, “Watch out that no one leads you astray! 6Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and they will lead many astray. 7When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed, for this must happen but it is not yet the end. 8For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines. These things are only the beginning of birth pains. 9“Watch out for yourselves! They will hand you over to the courts, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will stand before governors and kings because of Me, as a witness to them. 10The Good News must first be proclaimed to all the nations. 11When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Say whatever is given to you in that hour, for it is not you who speaks but the Ruach ha-Kodesh. 12Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. And children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. 13And you will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end will be saved.”

Birth Pangs Before Deliverance

14“But when you see ‘the abomination of desolation’ standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. 15The one on the roof must not go down, nor enter to take anything out of his house. 16And the one in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. 17Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 18Pray that it will not happen in winter. 19“For in those days there will be trouble such as has never happened, not since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will. 20And unless Adonai had cut short those days, no one would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He cut short the days. 21“And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here’s the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there He is!’ do not believe it. 22For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and show signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, the chosen. 23So be careful! See, I have told you everything beforehand.”

Messianic Victory

24“But in those days, after that trouble, ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.’ 26And then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. 27Then He will send out the angels and will gather together His chosen from the four winds, from the end of the earth, to the end of heaven.”

Keep Watch

28“Now learn the parable from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 29So also, when you see all these things happening, know that it is near, at the door. 30Amen, I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things happen. 31Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. 32But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven nor the Son, except the Father. 33“Keep on the lookout! Stay alert! For you do not know when the time is. 34It is like a man away on a journey. After leaving his house and putting his servants in charge and giving each his task, he also commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35Therefore stay alert, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, when the rooster crows, or in the early morning. 36So watch in case, coming suddenly, he finds you asleep. 37What I say to you I say to all: ‘Stay alert!’”

–from Mark 13

 

Are you aware of what impact you are having?


Do you know what your words are saying to people? Do you know what your actions are doing to people? Do you realize the impact you are having on others? Do realize what you are doing? Are you even aware of what’s taking place? Consider it! Consider the response(s) you are getting!

Today’s reading starts with us learning about Joseph. Consider the situation described. Consider if you were one of the brothers how you would feel. Imagine if you were told such a dream by one of your siblings. Imagine if you being treated as second fiddle to them. How would you feel? Now imagine if you were Joseph. Hmmm. How will God use that situation? How will God’s greater plan turn what some planned for evil and use it for good? God doesn’t get surprised! So let’s take a look and see what we can grasp from the story today…

Joseph, Favored Son

1Now Jacob dwelled in the land where his father had sojourned, in the land of Canaan.
2These are the genealogies of Jacob. When Joseph was 17 years old (he was a youth), he was shepherding the flocks with his brothers—with the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah. Joseph brought back a bad report about them to their father.
3Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his other sons because he was the son of his old age. So he had made him a long-sleeved tunic.
4When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak to him in shalom.
5Then Joseph dreamed a dream and told his brothers—and they hated him even more.
6He said to them, “Please listen to this dream I dreamed.
7There we were binding sheaves in the middle of the field. All of a sudden, my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around and bowed down to my sheaf.”
8“Will you truly be a king over us?” his brothers said to him. “Will you really rule over us?” So they hated him even more because of his dreams and because of his words.
9But then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers, saying, “I have just dreamed another dream. Suddenly, there was the sun and the moon and the eleven stars bowing down to me!”
10He told it to his father as well as his brothers. Then his father rebuked him and said to him, “What’s this dream you dreamed? Will we really come—your mother and I with your brothers—to bow down to the ground to you?”
11So his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the speech in mind.

Joseph Betrayed

12Then his brothers went to graze their father’s flocks at Shechem.
13Israel said to Joseph, “Aren’t your brothers grazing the flocks in Shechem? Come, let me send you to them.” “Here I am,” he said to him.
14Then he said to him, “Go now, and check on the welfare of your brothers and the welfare of the flocks and bring word back to me.” So he sent him from the valley of Hebron and he went to Shechem.
15A man found him there, wandering in the field, and the man asked him, “What are you looking for?”
16“I’m looking for my brothers,” he said. “Please tell me where they’re grazing.”
17The man said, “They moved on from here. For I heard them saying, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan.
18Now they saw him from a distance. Before he was close to them they plotted together against him in order to kill him.
19They said to one another, “Here comes the master of dreams!
20Come on now! Let’s kill him and throw him into one of those pits, so we can say that an evil animal devoured him. Then let’s see what becomes of his dreams.”
21But Reuben heard and rescued him out of their hands, saying, “We must not beat him to death.”
22In order to rescue him from their hand and to return him to his father, Reuben said to them, “Don’t shed blood! Throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him!”
23So as soon as Joseph came up to his brothers they stripped Joseph of his tunic (the long sleeved tunic that he had on).
24Then they took him and threw him into the pit. (Now the pit was empty, with no water in it.)
25Then they sat down to eat bread. When they looked up, behold, there was a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels carrying gum, balsam, and myrrh—going to bring them down to Egypt.
26Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come on!
27Let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites. Let’s not lay our hand on him—since he’s our brother, our own flesh.” His brothers listened to him.
28When some men, Midianite merchants, passed by, they dragged Joseph up and out of the pit and they sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for 20 pieces of silver, and they brought Joseph to Egypt.
29When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not in the pit, he tore his clothes.
30Then he returned to his brothers and said, “The boy is gone! And I—where should I go?”
31So they took Joseph’s tunic, slaughtered a billy goat, and they dipped the tunic into the blood.
32Then they sent the long-sleeved tunic, and it was brought to their father, and they said, “We found this. Do you recognize whether or not it is your son’s tunic?”
33He did recognize it and said, “My son’s tunic! An evil animal has devoured him! Joseph must be torn to pieces!”
34Jacob tore his clothing and put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days.
35All his sons got up along with all his daughters to console him, but he refused to be comforted. He said, “For I will go down to Sheol to my son, mourning.” So his father kept weeping for him.
36Meanwhile the Midianites sold him into Egypt, to Potiphar an official of Pharaoh, the commander of the bodyguards.
–from Genesis 37

Can you see the innocence of Joseph’s stories or do you think he was acting maliciously? Can you see the frustration of his brothers with the coat of many colors, with the dreams, with the favoritism? Can you see the build up that was taking place? Do you think they went too far? Do you think it could have been handled differently? Do you think someone might have been able to speak into the situation and diffuse it? God doesn’t get surprised and can use every situation to His glory. He can take what others plan for evil and turn it around use it for good! So no matter where you are and what you are going through keep your focus on God and put your hope and trust in Him! Do what you are supposed to do and let God take care of the rest. Even if you are tricked. Even if you are misjudged. Even if you are forgotten. God will not forget and God will never leave you nor abandon you! Put your hope and trust in Him!

Today’s reading continues in Genesis…Are you good to your word? Are you able to do what you promised? Will you play with trickery and then get bit when you get tricked? How will you walk? How will live? How will your example model life for others?

Judah and Tamar

1About that time Judah went down from his brothers and he camped near an Adullamite man, whose name was Hirah.
2There Judah saw the daughter of a Canaanite man whose name was Shua, and he took her as wife and slept with her.
3Then she became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and he named him Er.
4She became pregnant again and gave birth to a son, and she named him Onan.
5She gave birth to yet another son and she called him Shelah. He was in Chezib when she gave birth to him.
6Then Judah got a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar.
7But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was evil in Adonai’s eyes, so Adonai put him to death.
8Then Judah said to Onan, go to your brother’s wife to perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her, and raise up a seed for your brother.
9But Onan knew that the seed would not be his. So every time he went to his brother’s wife he would destroy it on the ground so as not to provide a seed for his brother.
10What he did was evil in Adonai’s eyes, so He put him to death also.
11Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Stay as a widow in your father’s house until my son Shelah grows up,” because he thought, “Otherwise he too might die, like his brothers.” So Tamar went and stayed in her father’s house.
12Now the days became many, and Shua’s daughter, Judah’s wife, died. After Judah consoled himself, he went up to Timnah to his sheepshearers, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite.
13Then Tamar was told, “Look! Your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his flocks.”
14And she removed her widow’s clothes from herself, covered herself with a veil, wrapped herself, and sat by the entrance to the springs on the way to Timnah (for she saw that Shelah had grown up and she had not been given to him as a wife).
15When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute because she had covered her face.
16So he turned aside to her along the way and said, “Please let me sleep with you” (for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law). “What,” she asked, “will you give me to sleep with me?”
17“I will send you a young goat from the flock,” he said, “Provided you give a pledge until you send it,” she said.
18“What kind of pledge shall I give you?” he asked. “Your seal, and your cord, and your staff in your hand,” she said. So he gave them to her and he slept with her, and she got pregnant by him.
19After she got up and left, she removed her veil from herself and put on her widow’s clothes.
20When Judah sent the young goat by the hand of his friend the Adullamite to take back the pledge from the woman’s hand, he could not find her.
21He asked the men of her area saying, “Where is the cult prostitute? She was at the springs along the way.” But they said, “There hasn’t been a cult prostitute here.”
22So he returned to Judah and said, “I couldn’t find her, and the people of that place also said, ‘There hasn’t been a cult prostitute here.’”
23Then Judah said, “Let her take them for herself, or we’ll be held in contempt. Behold, I did send this young goat, but you couldn’t find her.”
24About three months later, Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has been a prostitute—look, she’s even pregnant by prostitution.” “Bring her out!” Judah said, “and let her be burned.”
25As she was being brought out, she sent word to her father-in-law saying, “I’m pregnant by the man to whom these things belong.” Then she said, “Do you recognize whose these are—the seal, the cords and the staff?”
26Then Judah recognized them and said, “She is more righteous than I, since I didn’t give her to my son Shelah.” He was not intimate with her again.
27Now when it was time for her to give birth, behold there were twins in her womb.
28While she was giving birth, one stuck out his hand, and the midwife took a scarlet thread and tied it to his hand saying, “This one came out first.”
29But as he was pulling his hand back in, behold, his brother came out. So she said, “How you have broken through! The breach is because of you.” And he named him Perez.
30Afterward his brother, on whose hand was the scarlet thread, came out. And he named him Zerah.
–from Genesis 38

Thing may not be what they appear! We need to turn to God even when the situation seems familiar and in the past you handled it a specific way. We need God’s wisdom daily, in every situation, in every circumstance, we need His direction and guidance. So ask, seek, knock – for those who ask find answers, those who see will find, and those who knock get it opened for them.

There are times when your troubles may try to follow you. Keep your eyes on Go and allow His Spirit to lead you and guide you, protect you and shield you. Do you realize that there are some people who believe in a lot of gods? Do you realize there are people who aren’t aware of GOD? Will you share the truth? Will you share the love? Will you share the reason for the hope that is within you? Will you be a catalyst for hope, love, joy? Will you point people to the one who is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than you could ever ask or imagine?

Today’s reading continues into Acts…Let’s catch up with Paul and see how he is doing and what we can learn from his experiences…

Synagogue Responses Vary

1After passing through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue.
2As was his custom, Paul went to the Jewish people; and for three Shabbatot, he debated the Scriptures with them.
3He opened them and gave evidence that Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead, saying, “This Yeshua, whom I declare to you, is the Messiah.”
4Some of them were convinced and became attached to Paul and Silas, as were a large number of the God-fearing Greeks and no small number of the leading women.
5But some of the Jewish people became jealous. Taking some wicked fellows of the marketplace and gathering a crowd, they stirred the city into an uproar. They attacked Jason’s house, trying to bring Paul and Silas out to the mob.
6When they did not find them, they instead began dragging Jason and some of the brethren before the city officials, shouting, “These men who have upset the world have come here too,
7and Jason has welcomed them! They are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king, Yeshua.”
8Hearing these things, the crowd and the city officials were confused.
9But after receiving bail from Jason and the rest, they released them.
10As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas to Berea. Upon arrival, they made their way to the Jewish synagogue.
11Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, because they received the message with goodwill, searching the Scriptures each day to see whether these things were true.
12Therefore many of them believed, as well as quite a few prominent Greek women and men.
13But when the Jewish people of Thessalonica learned that the word of God had been proclaimed by Paul in Berea, they came there too, agitating and inciting the people.
14Then the brothers immediately sent Paul away to the sea, but Silas and Timothy remained there.
15Those escorting Paul brought him as far as Athens. After receiving an order for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they left.

An Unknown God in Athens

16Now while Paul was waiting for them in Athens, his spirit was aroused within him when he saw that the city was full of idols.
17So he was debating in the synagogue with the Jewish people and the God-fearers, as well as in the marketplace every day with all who happened to be there.
18Also some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were conversing with him. Some were saying, “What’s this babbler trying to say?” while others, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign deities”—because he was proclaiming the Good News of Yeshua and the resurrection.
19So they took Paul to the Aereopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are talking about?
20For you are bringing some strange things to our ears, so we want to know what these things mean.”
21Now all the Athenians and foreigners visiting there used to pass their time doing nothing but telling or hearing something new.
22So Paul stood in the middle of the Aereopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I see that in all ways you are very religious.
23For while I was passing through and observing the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: ‘To an Unknown God.’ Therefore what you worship without knowing, this I proclaim to you.
24The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by hands.
25Nor is He served by human hands, as if He needed anything, since He Himself gives to everyone life and breath and all things.
26From one He made every nation of men to live on the face of the earth, having set appointed times and the boundaries of their territory.
27They were to search for Him, and perhaps grope around for Him and find Him. Yet He is not far from each one of us,
28for ‘In Him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His offspring.’
29Since we are His offspring, we ought not to suppose the Deity is like gold or silver or stone, an engraved image of human art and imagination.
30Although God overlooked the periods of ignorance, now He commands everyone everywhere to repent.
31For He has set a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness, through a Man whom He has appointed. He has brought forth evidence of this to all men, by raising Him from the dead.”
32Now when they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some began scoffing. But others said, “We will hear from you again about this.”
33So Paul left from their midst.
34But some men joined with him and believed—among them Dionysius (a member of the council of the Aereopagus), a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
–from Acts 17

So how will you press on? How will you move forward? How will you answer the call? How will you explain the hope that is within you? How will you give an answer when someone asks? Do you have a story? Do you have a testimony of what God has done in and through you? Do you have a story of how you were transformed? Do you have a story ready to tell when someone asks? Be prepared! God is setting up the good works He has for you to do! Be prepared to get it done!

Today’s reading concludes in Matthew. Are you feeling the pressure of this world? Are you carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders? Would you be willing to hand it over to God? Would you be willing to trade it for something that is easy and light? Let’s hear what Jesus has to say…

Signs and Wonders Bear Witness

1When Yeshua had finished instructing His twelve disciples, He went on from there to teach and preach in their towns.
2Now when John heard in prison about the works of the Messiah, he sent word through his disciples
3and said to Yeshua, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”
4Yeshua replied, “Go report to John what you hear and see:
5the blind see and the lame walk, those with tza’arat are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised and the poor have good news proclaimed to them.
6Blessed is the one who is not led to stumble because of Me.”

A Prophet Without Honor

7Now as they were leaving, Yeshua began to talk to the crowd concerning John. “What did you go out to the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?
8No? So what did you go out to see? A man dressed in finery? Look, those who wear finery are in the palaces of kings!
9Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, even more than a prophet.
10This is the one about whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send My messenger before You, who will prepare Your way before You.’
11“Amen, I tell you, among those born of women, none has arisen greater than John the Immerser. Yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
12From the days of John the Immerser until now, the kingdom of heaven is treated with violence, and the violent grasp hold of it.
13For all the prophets and the Torah prophesied until the time of John.
14And if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come.
15He who has ears, let him hear!
16“But to what shall I compare this generation? It’s like children sitting in the marketplaces who call to one other, saying,
17‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance. We wailed, but you did not mourn.’
18“For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon!’
19The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”
20Then Yeshua began to denounce the towns where most of His miracles had happened, because they did not turn from their sins.
21“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have turned long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
22Nevertheless I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the Day of Judgment than for you.
23And you, Capernaum? Will you be lifted up to heaven? No, you will go down to Sheol! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained to this day.
24Nevertheless I tell you that it will be more bearable for the land of Sodom on the Day of Judgment than for you.”
Yeshua Teaches the Ways of His Father
25At that time Yeshua said in response, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and discerning and revealed them to infants.
26Yes, Father, for this way was pleasing to You.
27“All things have been handed over to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.
28Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
29Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and ‘you will find rest for your souls.’
30For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
–from Matthew 11

Jesus offers a trade! Jesus is willing to take our weary and burdened lives and give us rest. Jesus is willing to swap the heaven and hard life for an easy and light one. Are you willing to do it His way? Are you willing to give it over to Him? In this world we will have troubles, but we are able to take heart for He has overcome the world! In this world we will face trials, but we can consider them pure joy for when they complete their work in us we will be complete and lacking nothing!

Ever caught yourself thinking about the good old days?


Ever been in a funk and started to flashback to “the good old days”? Ever found yourself in such a place of despair that you start to think about the days gone by with memories that were so great? Ever found yourself facing troubles or trials and looking back and wishing that things could be like they used to be?

Do you realize the “good old days” may have been good, but had you stayed there you wouldn’t have learned or developed or grown to be who you need to become?

Do you realize that the place you are now isn’t a destination but part of the path?

Don’t get stuck there, rather consider what you are to learn so that you will be able to move forward and onward towards who you will become.

Realize that whatever you are going through will be something you will learn from and be able to use it going forward in a powerful and motivational way.

I remember after having an incredible time with many mountain tops watching it all disappear. I remember God speaking to me to start looking for the next thing, but I was “too comfortable” and did see any reason to need to, until it was too late. I remember learning the importance of forgiveness through the trials and troubles which has helped me to be able to relate to people who are going through troubling times. Forgiveness isn’t all about them, it’s about freeing yourself, to be able to move forward and become who God created you to be. I remember a test where I could have gotten bitter and upset again, but from my first experience, my first response was to forgive and not only did that keep me from sliding down a slippery slope, but it also provided an incredible testimony to the team around me.

Today’s reading begins in Job 29 and we see him remembering better days. Remembering how he served others. Remembering how God blessed those efforts. Remembering how he enjoyed it. Remembering how others appreciated him. Looking back at what had been…

So where are you at today? Do need help? Are you wondering where your help comes from? As for me and my how we will serve the Lord! And we know that our help and our hope comes from God!

Today’s continues into Psalms 121 and it goes like this…

He Watches Over You

1A Song of Ascents. I will lift up my eyes to the mountains— from where does my help come?
2My help comes from Adonai, Maker of heaven and earth.
3He will not let your foot slip. Your Keeper will not slumber.
4Behold, the Keeper of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.
5Adonai is your Keeper. Adonai is your shadow at your right hand.
6The sun will not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
7Adonai will protect you from all evil. He will guard your life.
8Adonai will watch over your coming and your going from this time forth and forevermore.
–from Psalms 121

Put your trust in Him! Going up the mount or at the mountain top, put your trust in God and praise Him! Going down the mountain or into the valley, put your trust in God and praise Him! Consider it pure joy! Remember it rains on everyone!

God is looking to help the sick and the lost. Is that your plan and purpose too? Are you looking to help others that God has brought into your life? Are you walking with eyes wide open to be able to see the need? Are you listening to the stories and the voices to be able to notice the need? Will you be salt and light? Do you realize without contact salt and light don’t have much affect? So will you make an impact on the lives of those around you? Will you allow your salt to spice up the situation, to clean things up, to clear things up. Will you allow your light to clarify, to make visible the reality of what’s going on, to show you the path to walk? We are to be good stewards of what God gives us, so let’s not waste what we have been given, but rather let’s take it and multiply it. Let’s make it about glorifying and trusting in Him rather than allowing fear to keep us from becoming all that He has created us to be.

Today’s continues into Luke 19 where we see Jesus’ interaction with Zacchaeus where we receive the message that Jesus came to seek and save the lost. It continues into the parable of the talents and stewardship and how if we are good stewards more will be given unto us, but if we aren’t even what we have will be taken away. It was getting close to the time to go to Jerusalem for the final stand. So here is how it played out…

28After saying these things, Yeshua was going on ahead, up to Jerusalem.
29When He got near Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, He sent two of the disciples,
30saying, “Go into the village ahead. As you enter, you will find a colt tied up, that no one has ever sat upon. Untie it and bring it.
31And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say, ‘The Master needs it.’”
32Those who were headed out found things just as He told them.
33Then as they were untying the colt, his owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?”
34They said, “The Master needs it.”
35Then they brought it to Yeshua, threw their cloaks on the colt, and set Yeshua on it.
36And as He went along, the people were spreading their cloaks on the road.
37When Yeshua came near the slope of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began to rejoice. They praised God with a loud voice for all the miracles they had seen,
38saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of Adonai! Shalom in heaven and glory in the highest!”
39Some of the Pharisees from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples!”
40But answering, Yeshua said, “I tell you that if these keep silent, the stones will shout out!”
41As He drew near and saw Jerusalem, He wept over her,
42saying, “If only you had recognized this day the things that lead to shalom! But now they are hidden from your eyes.
43For the days will come upon you when your enemies will surround you with barricades and hem you in on all sides.
44And they will smash you to the ground—you and your children within you. And they won’t leave within you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”
–from Luke 19

When Jesus got to the temple, he saw that people were cheating others and doing business in a way that was bad.

45Then Yeshua entered the Temple and began to drive out the merchants,
46saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’”
47And He was teaching every day in the Temple. The ruling kohanim and the Torah scholars, even the leaders of the people, were trying to destroy Him;
48but they could not find any way to do it, because all the people were hanging on His words.
–from Luke 19

Today’s reading concludes in Revelation 14. Will you choose to praise God? Will you choose to follow God? What if it happens to be the end of days? Even if you happened to wait till the last moment, will make the decision before it is too late? Which side will you pick? What outcome do you want to have? Even in the end you get a choice! Today’s reading from Revelation goes like this…

A Song for the 144,000

1Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him were 144,000 who had His name and His Father’s name written on their foreheads.
2And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and the booming of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like harpists playing on their harps.
3And they are singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one is able to learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.
4These are the ones who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been redeemed from among mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb.
5And in their mouth was found no lie—they are blameless.

Three Angels with Messages

6And then I saw another angel flying high in the sky, having a timeless message of good news to proclaim to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation and tribe and tongue and people.
7He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come. Worship the One who made heaven and earth and sea and springs of water.”
8Another angel, a second one, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen, is Babylon the great— she who made all nations drink of the wine of the fury of her immorality.”
9And another angel, a third one, followed them, saying in a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand,
10he shall also drink the wine of God’s fury, poured full strength into the cup of His wrath. And he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone before the holy angels and before the Lamb.
11The smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever. Those who worship the beast and its image and those who receive the mark of his name have no rest day or night.”
12Here is the perseverance of the kedoshim—those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Yeshua.
13Then I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write: How fortunate are the dead—those who die in the Lord from now on!” “Yes,” says the Ruach, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them.”

Time to Harvest the Earth

14Then I looked, and behold, there was a white cloud—and seated on the cloud was one like a son of man. He had a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand.
15Then another angel came out of the Temple, crying out with a loud voice to the One seated on the cloud, “Put in your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.”
16So the One seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.
17Then another angel came out of the Temple in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle.
18Then another angel—the one who has authority over fire—came out from the altar; and he called out with a loud voice to the one holding the sharp sickle, saying, “Put in your sickle and gather the grape clusters from the vineyard of the earth, because her grapes are ripe.”
19So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and gathered the clusters from the vineyard of the earth and threw them into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
20And the winepress was stomped on outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress as high as a horse’s bridle for 1,600 stadia.
–from Revelation 14

 

Ever been in a tough situation and not known where to turn?


Was it a physical issue? What it an emotional issue? Was it a financial issue? Was it a relational issue? Was it a finance or resource issue? Was it a spiritual issue? Or is it that you are going through it now? What did you do or will you do? Where will you go? Where will you turn?

We see in Job’s situation from today’s reading in Job 22 and 23 that he is still facing accusing friends and trying to defend himself and get answers. God always hears us! God always knows what is going on! The feeling that God isn’t answering isn’t new but the reality is the teacher is always quiet during the test. Be it in school or in life. Will we turn to God? Will we consider what’s going on? Will we search ourselves to see and better understand what is going on? Will we grab a hold of Him and allow His work to complete it’s work in us?

Before Jesus there were things people may not have understand. Before Jesus there wasn’t the new testament’s wisdom. Before Jesus the fulfillment of the promise hadn’t taken place. God’s ways are not our ways! His ways are higher than our ways! His ways are better than our ways! Jesus speaks to us hope that without Him, without a relationship with Him, we would miss out on. Be it the message of hope that we shouldn’t worry because worry changes nothing. Be it the message of hope that in this world we will have troubles, but to have hope because Jesus has overcome the world. Be it the message to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds for it builds perseverance which helps us to endure, and when enduring finishes its work, we will be perfect, complete, and lacking nothing. Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for you and for me. The Holy Spirit is with us when we start this relationship and is our comforter and guide. There are still things we may not understand, but we now have the hope within us that allows us to keep going! Jesus provides with a joy unspeakable that won’t go away! Joy is from God! It’s more than an emotion! It’s a decision!

So how will you do on the test? Will you allow it to give you a testimony? Will you allow it to be something you can testify about?

We need to building up our relationship with God! We need to allow our relationship with Jesus to be real and strong. We need to be trustworthy with what we are given! If you are trustworthy with little then you will be trusted with more. If you are unfaithful with little then you won’t get the chance and won’t be trusted with more. Can others trust you with their stuff? Who will you serve? You can’t have two masters! Today’s reading in Luke 16 Jesus puts it this way…

for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stick by one and look down on the other. You cannot serve God and money.

–from Luke 16:13

It may not be something you want to hear and it wasn’t something that the Pharisees wanted to hear either. What is your motivation? Why are you doing what you do? What drives your decisions? How do you weigh the decisions you need to make? What’s the deciding factor or the driving factor? Where does it point to your leader? Who do you serve? God sees beyond the surface? He sees your true heart! So which way will you go? God’s way? The world’s way?

Consider this story! How far would you have to go before you believed?

19“Now there was a rich man dressed in purple and fine linen, living it up in luxury every day.
20But a poor man named Lazarus had been laid at his gate, covered with sores
21and longing to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Besides, even the dogs were coming to lick his sores.
22“It happened that the poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. Then the rich man also died and was buried.
23And from Sheol, as he was in torment, he raised his eyes. And he sees Abraham far off, and Lazarus at his side.
24So he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me! And send Lazarus so he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, because I am suffering torment in this flame.’
25“But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your life you received your good things, even as Lazarus received the bad things. But now he is comforted here, and you are tormented.
26Besides all this, between us and you a great chasm is firmly set, so that those who want to cross over to you cannot, nor can those from there cross over to us.
27“Then the rich man said, ‘I beg you then, Father Abraham, send Lazarus to my father’s house!
28For I have five brothers to warn, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
29“But Abraham says, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets. Let them listen to them.’
30“But he said, ‘No, Father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
31“But Abraham said, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead!’”
–from Luke 16

Will do something about it today before it is too late? Will you share the love of God? Will you receive the message of hope through Jesus Christ? Will you decide today? Will you take a turn for the better? Or are you willing to have to deal with the consequences of your decision to stay away from God?

Today’s reading concludes in Revelation 11. It speaks of the 2 witnesses! 2 witnesses that will testify! 2 witnesses that will prophesy! Those one the earth won’t like what they have to say or what they have to do. Nobody will be able to stand against them. But the beast will come out of the abyss and make war on them and kill them. People will rejoice for a little while before life is breathed back into them creating even more fear into all those watching. They didn’t even allow a proper burial, they just left the bodies out for people to look at. Once they are alive again, God will call them back up into heaven. There will be a great earthquake with much destruction and fear and all of this concluded the second woe but there is a third one coming soon.

Before moving into the next part of this I wanted to share something that came to mind. When Jesus comes back, everyone is going to see it. When Jesus came the first time, it was in humility of a baby born in a manger at a humble time in history. Consider today how close we are to such a reality. Consider how if something big goes on how nearly everybody in the world is able to see it at once. Be it on TV! Be it on the web! Be it on the radio! So how close are we to His return? I know it felt close back when I started this blog back in 2005 and at that time I started reading the book of Revelation, hence 2005 to Eternity.

Now back to our reading…where the seventh angel blew his trumpet.

“The kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Anointed One. And He shall reign forever and ever!”

The time for judgment is getting closer. But it’s not too late yet! So call on Jesus and ask Him into your heart!